Johannesburg - The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) confirmed the end of the Lonmin Marikana strike on Tuesday.
"Worker representatives informed us this evening that agreement has been reached, and they have signed the agreement. They have accepted Lonmin management's latest offer and will return to work on Thursday 20 September," said CCMA director Nerine Kahn, whose organisation facilitated the negotiations.
The CCMA expressed its appreciation to all parties involved in the Lonmin wage dispute for their contribution to developing a mutually acceptable settlement.
"It was tough, but it was worth it," said Kahn after receiving copies of the agreement.
"Among other things, the Lonmin agreement affirms the importance of a structured approach to managing workplace disputes," she said.
Lonmin also confirmed the news in a statement, and said the company will update the market on the wider implications of the agreement, including its financial impact in due course.
"These have been difficult and tragic weeks for everyone involved with the company, the communities living around our operations and the South African nation as a whole.
"Tonight's [Tuesday's] agreement and the subsequent return to work is only one step in a long and difficult process which lies ahead for everyone who has been affected by the events at Marikana, but it is essential in helping secure the futures of our tens of thousands of employees and all those who rely on Lonmin in the region," acting chief executive Simon Scott said.
Kahn said much work still needed to be done to stabilise the industrial relations in the Platinum Belt.
She said the Lonmin negotiations process contained specific challenges that illustrated the changing dynamic of industrial relations.
These include the participation of worker representatives who were not members of recognised unions, and the involvement of religious groups and traditional leaders.
The CCMA intended to conduct a specific internal review of the Lonmin negotiations process which would be shared with the Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant.
"It is clear from the Lonmin process that we need to be mindful of the social and labour environment in which negotiations take place, and also whether the existing legal framework adequately addresses this and other challenges."
Striking miners had accepted a pay rise of up to 22% and would return to work on Thursday, worker leader Zolisa Bodlani said earlier.
Reporting back to workers at the platinum mine in Marikana on Tuesday, Bodlani said the increase would be applied across the board.
Rock drill operators would now get R11 078 a month before deductions, production team leaders R13 022, and operators R9 883.
Workers would further receive a once-off bonus of R2 000.
President of the SA Council of Churches, Bishop Jo Seoka, who was also part of the workers' negotiations, said the offer was closer to the R12 500 the workers had been demanding since they went on strike on 10 August.
Opposition parties described the end of the strike as a "relief" for the nation.
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