Gold mining has taken a hit due to a three-month strike in Sibanye-Stillwater.
Sibanye-Stillwater lifted the lockout on its gold operations in Johannesburg and the Free State after signing a three-year pay deal that ended a protracted but peaceful strike.
The operational start-up of the mines will now be staggered over two to three months to ensure the resumption of production in complete safety.
The mining group said on Monday that the deal was signed over the weekend and as a result the lockout was lifted for union members, the Miners’ Association and the Construction Union ( AMCU) and the National Union of Miners (NUM). .
“We look forward to restarting our South African gold operations for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement which is in line with inflation and which will contribute significantly to the sustainability of our gold operations.”
The pay deal translates to an average increase of 6.3% over a three-year period and is in line with management’s attempts to secure an inflation-linked raise, the company said.
Against a wage demand of R1,000 a year, the final wage deal will see employees in categories 4 to 8 receive a raise of R1,000 in the first year; R900 the second year; and R750 in the third year. Miners, artisans and civil servants will receive an average increase of 5% in the first and third years, and 5.5% in the second year.
Employees will also receive a one-time hardship allowance of R3,000 consisting of a guaranteed cash payment of R1,200, with the balance of up to R1,800 earmarked to reduce employee debt or loans due to company, which includes medical aid contributions and risk benefits that were covered during the lockout.
The final agreement, effective July 1, will also be extended to all UASA and Solidarity members.
Wage negotiations at the Sibanye platinum mines near Rustenburg began earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Anglo American Platinum has already agreed a five-year wage deal with unions which will ensure that the company’s lowest-paid employees will receive a basic salary increase of R1,150 in the first year, rising to 1 R500 in the fifth year.
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