• The power of perseverance

    True grit is a reliable predictor of who will achieve success in life, says Ian Mann.

  • It's the system

    The system sucks and it’s being used far too often as an excuse, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Web of dependency

    Zupta defenders are playing cat and mouse with ratings agencies, says Solly Moeng.

All data is delayed
See More

Miners 'earn less than farmworkers'

Aug 07 2012 12:47
Johannesburg - Hundreds of workers at the Syferfontein magnesite mine in Folovhodwe, Limpopo, have downed tools over what they called "unreasonableness" concerning salaries.

Workers started picketing outside the mine's main plant in a village near Musina, demanding better salaries.

National Democratic Forest and Energy Workers' Union shop steward Jonas Tshiboho claimed the miners were being paid less than farmworkers and taxi drivers.

Their employer, the Syferfontein Group, was unwilling to pay salaries as prescribed to the mining and energy workers' industry, he claimed.

"We negotiated for the pay hikes. It is our belief that what we are offered is even less as compared to what farmworkers are getting. We then had no option but to engage in industrial action," said Tshiboho.

Syferfontein Group manager Dane Cresswell said he would not comment on the matter.

The union rejected a 6.5% increase offer by the employer and served the mine with notice of its intention to strike last week. This was after talks broke down at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

"We will not go back to work until the employer offers us what we want. There is no work taking place in the mine today [Tuesday]," Tshiboho said.

The union wanted to "send a strong message" to the company that such salaries would no longer be acceptable to workers. He said the lowest-paid workers got R1 500 a month, which the union considered unacceptable and unjust.

The union also wanted labour department inspectors to look at salary compliance for workers.

The company mines magnesite mineral near Tshipise village, south-east of Musina. Magnesite is used to make tiles, and in the process of making steel.

limpopo  |  wages  |  miners  |  strike


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Debt is one of the biggest financial issues facing South Africans today. Find out how you can avoid and manage your debt with Fin24 and Debt Rescue.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Would you take out a payday loan?

Previous results · Suggest a vote