Financial News

  • 24 January 2014, 7:17

South African Platinum Miners Agree To Talks

A hardline South African union behind a crippling mass strike at the country's platinum mines has agreed to mediation talks.

Joseph Mathunjwa, head of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), confirmed it "will be part of the negotiations".

The government-mediated talks are tentatively set for Friday.

"It's a mediation meeting between the unions and the mine owners," Labour Ministry spokesman Musa Zondi said.

Platinum producers Anglo American Platinum, Lonmin and Impala Platinum have suffered as a result of the ongoing tension.

The three mining firms have long said they would enter talks to help end unrest in the mining sector.

Meanwhile in London, mining firms Resnillo, Rand Gold and Anglo American saw their share price rise on the FTSE 100 on Thursday afternoon after the news was confirmed.

Bosses of mining firms in South Africa have long been ready for any talks that could end the unrest in the key mining sector, which is located in the platinum belt northwest of Johannesburg.

However the AMCU, which is known for its militancy, had previously said it wanted approval from members ahead of any talks.

The approval came at a rally in Marikana at the start of the strike on Thursday.

The Marikana mine was the scene of multiple deaths in 2012 after police opened fire on protesters.

Around 80,000 platinum mine workers joined the strike on Thursday, demanding that starting salaries are doubled to 700 a month.

On Monday, the South African government warned that the country cannot afford industrial action as it tries to improve the country's infrastructure and attempts to pull citizens out of poverty.

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