24 June 2014

South Africa: North West Premier Welcomes End of Platinum Strike

Pretoria — North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has welcomed the announcement that the five-month-long strike in the platinum sector has ended, with workers due to resume their duties on Wednesday. "We wish to commend parties for finally reaching a settlement to avert a near human catastrophe that has impacted negatively on our economy and pledge our support for the healing process that needs to unfold in the aftermath of the violence and losses suffered during the protracted strike," Premier Mahumapelo said. He said the end of the strike will pave the way for peace and stability to be restored and for mining operations to return to full productivity.

Proudly South Africa has also welcomed the announcement.

"The strike has placed a major burden on South Africa's economy as well as having impacted negatively on many small businesses and countless households. We are pleased that the parties have found each other - it is a victory for everyone," said Proudly SA's CEO Adv. Leslie Sedibe.

Sedibe said Proudly SA was confident the agreement will go a long way to preserving existing jobs, especially in the SMME sector affected negatively through the strike, as well as rebuilding the platinum sector and creating new jobs within that sector.

"We are hopeful that the miners will get back on their feet quickly following the platinum sector deal, as well as those small businesses which serve the mining community," he said.

The president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), Joseph Mathunjwa, on Monday said a wage deal and "the bulk" of the workers' demands had been accepted by the mining companies involved.

Amcu accepted a wage settlement that would increase the salary of the lowest paid worker by R1 000 over three years.

Salaries are set to increase by R1 000 in the first two years and in the third year, they will increase by R950.

The salary of officials and artisans would increase by 8% in the first year and by 7.5% in the second and third year.

While the living-out allowance will not be increased over the three-year period, other benefits will increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Amcu members at Lonmin, Impala Platinum and Anglo American Platinum went on strike on 23 January, demanding a monthly basic salary of R12 500.


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