Gold miners reject latest pay offer

2012-10-11 12:20

Johannesburg - Striking gold miners have rejected the industry's latest wage offer, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday, dimming hopes that wildcat strikes that have paralysed the industry could come to an end.

"This was a final offer from the companies. They said take it or leave it," NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said. "Now that it has been rejected our options have been exhausted."

Since August almost 100 000 workers across South Africa - including 75 000 in the mining sector - have downed tools in often illegal and violent strikes that may hit economic growth this year and undermine investor confidence in the minerals hub.

Africa's top two bullion producers AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] and Gold Fields [JSE:GFI] have been hit by an estimated 48 000 miners taking to the streets fighting for higher wages.

The wildcat strikes, which started in the platinum industry and spread to other mining companies and beyond, have raised questions about President Jacob Zuma's leadership and tarnished South Africa's reputation among foreign investors.

Production of platinum group metals fell 1.9% in August compared to the same month last year, data showed on Thursday, a sign the unrest was taking its toll on Africa's biggest economy.

Gold output still rose 0.4% in August as the strikes only spread to bullion the following month.

The rand fell to a three-and-a-half year low against the dollar earlier this week and Moody's cut South Africa's government bond rating last month, citing the government's difficulty in keeping up with spreading unrest.

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  • henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-10-11 12:33

    Fire them! Show some balls and tell the ANC to go away!

      henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-10-11 12:46

      It has nothing to do with white privilege. It has to do with tax income for the country. No profitable mines = no grants! Get it!

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-11 12:52

      I agree, time to start the disciplinary actions. We have enough people that is unemployed.

      armand.horn.58 - 2012-10-11 12:55

      I work with a group of Ugandans. Their salary is between $200 to $500 a month. These people heard about the $1500 a month salary that one can earn in SA. You know what? These people think SA is the land of honey and milk, and would LOVE to come to SA to work. I hope that or border control is up to date, because I can see a lot of our African neighbors would like to work for half the $1500 a month.

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-10-11 12:48

    Take the money away from the useless ministers that get expense accounts and give it to the miners....

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-10-11 12:52

    Well now it is time to fire the lot. Mechanise and you wont have anymore trouble. In future when I hear of all the retrenchments I wont have any sympathy for them. They get what they give and its as simple as that. When their children are starving they can explain to their children why they did'nt want to go back to work and lets see what their children have to say about that.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-10-11 12:52

    Fire them all, there is no other solution.

  • braamc - 2012-10-11 12:54

    Get rid of the bunch of idiots

  • mbambo.shi - 2012-10-11 13:21

    Mines gave the a hand, and now they wanna CHOP the whole arm. December holidays are just around the corner, let them toi-toi further. They'll quaff H20 from the tap. Or!!, will the bloody union compensate them for zero monthly income???. Actually, they should, to show they have their members' best interest at heart, emphathy.

  • carol.l.friend - 2012-10-11 14:09

    just out of interest sake what is the currently entry level "wage" for a miner - and what are the mining houses offering

  • siphokamntimande.ngwenya - 2012-10-11 14:13

    Govt intervene through labour dept.What else pple want frm Zuma?

  • letsatsi.gabriel - 2012-10-11 14:53

    siphokanti... they want him to take his jaket and leave to be your king.

  • peter.hall.3956 - 2012-10-11 15:24

    If industry does not take a tuff stance on the employees, this all starts again next year this time? Keep them fired, teach employees,Unions and political leaders that industry is what runs a country! Let the dog shake the tail for a change...

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