Johannesburg - Three gold mining companies and three trade
unions signed an agreement expected to end a prolonged strike in the gold
mining sector, National Union of Mineworkers' spokesperson (NUM) Lesiba Seshoka
said on Thursday.
"Yes we have already signed that, basically," said
"We are feeling very good about it. We expect that
everybody else in the gold sector will return," he said.
Trade unions the NUM, Solidarity and Uasa, and mining
companies AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG], Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] and Harmony Gold
Mining Company [JSE:HAR] signed the agreement at the Chamber of Mines on
The agreement relates to clause 11 of the pay deal struck
last year that addresses the lowest categories of workers and rock drill
It was a separate clause that had to be dealt with and it
was escalated after workers started going on unprotected strikes in September
at these mines.
Terms of the new agreement were not immediately available.
Leshoka said that around 80% of workers who had been on
strike were already back at work.
Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu workers went back in time for
their 6am ultimatum on Thursday to avoid being fired, the company said.
The company would provide an update later on when operations
would restart, but in the meantime it was doing procedural medicals and safety
"A large percentage of our workers have returned,"
said spokesperson Marian van der Walt, as workers arrived en masse before the
cut-off time to make sure they keep their jobs.
AngloGold Ashanti said it had not yet served dismissal
letters to the 12 000 miners who did not heed an ultimatum to return by noon on
Wednesday, hoping that further talks and the chamber agreement would get them
In the meantime, workers at the company's Kopanang, Great
Noligwa and Surface Operations returned to work on Monday and those at Moab
Khotsong, near Orkney, ended their unprotected work stoppage on Tuesday.
Gold Fields spokesperson Sven Lunsche said 7 300 people out
of 8 100 were dismissed at its KDC East mine on Tuesday. Their appeals started
on Thursday morning and would take place over the next week.
Operations at Gold Fields' Beatrix mine was "back in
full swing" last week, Lunsche said.
At KDC West, they started hoisting off this week, and full
production was expected early next week. KDC East remained closed.