Pretoria — Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has offered government's assistance in mediating talks between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and platinum mining companies.
Amcu workers are preparing to down tools on Thursday at platinum mines and gold mines over wage increases. The union is demanding an entry-level salary of R12 500 per month.
Motlanthe's spokesperson, Thabo Masebe, said on Wednesday the Deputy President had offered government's assistance in mediating talks during a meeting with Amcu on Tuesday.
The offer was also made to the mining companies.
"The Deputy President has made an offer to assist in talks, through the Minister of Labour [Mildred Oliphant]. Three of the platinum mines - Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum - have accepted the offer for mediation," he said.
He said they were now waiting to see if Amcu would agree to join the talks.
Once all parties had agreed to the mediation, Oliphant would convene the meeting, said Masebe. Earlier this week, government urged all parties involved in the current wage dispute to engage in meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.
Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO, Phumla Williams, said: "Whilst workers have the right to protest, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, we encourage the protest to be within the confines of the law.
"As South Africa remains a destination for investment and business opportunities, government urges the parties to resolve their disputes promptly in the interest of the country's economy."