Johannesburg - Mediation talks to end the strike in the platinum mining sector have been adjourned, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) said on Wednesday.
"CCMA mediators met and engaged with all parties on Monday and Tuesday. Given that parties still remain far apart at this stage, the CCMA has decided to adjourn the process to give all parties an opportunity to reflect on their respective positions," CCMA director Nerine Kahn said.
The CCMA would remain available to all parties, and the mediation process could resume once parties had considered their positions and indicated a willingness to return to the negotiating table.
The CCMA is facilitating mediation between Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS], Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] and
Lonmin [JSE:LON], and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
Amcu members downed tools on January 23, demanding a minimum monthly salary of R12 500.
The mining companies have offered staggered increases of 7-9% over the next three years.
On Tuesday, Amcu said it had revised its demand and that the R12 500 minimum monthly salary could now be achieved over three years.
"We are not exactly reducing our demand. Our move is meant to give the employers a breather," Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa told reporters in Johannesburg.
However, the companies rejected Amcu's revised demand.
"This revised demand translates into an average annual increase of between 30% to 40% year-on-year, and remains unaffordable.
"Our proposed offer, tabled on January 29, and which starts with a nine percent increase at the lowest level, is already significantly above the inflation rate," said Elize Strydom on behalf of the platinum producers.