'Carltonville talks won’t focus on wages'

Gold Fields has clarified that talks between striking workers and NUM will not centre around wages.

Striking miners from Gold Fields wait for expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema to address them near the Johannesburg mine on 11 September, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The situation appeared calm at Gold Fields KDC mine near Carletonville on Thursday, ahead of a planned meeting between the National Unions of Mineworkers (NUM) and striking workers.

Around 15,000 miners have been on an illegal strike over wages.

Employees at the western Gauteng mine have been demanding a R12,500 basic monthly salary.

On Wednesday, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelenzima Vavi urged workers to secure their jobs and end the strike.

Gold Fields vice president Sven Lunsche said night shift workers did not report for duty.

Management at the mine suspect those on Thursday's roster will miss work too.

Operations are continuing at the mine, but at minimum capacity.

The mine has moved to clarify that talks will centre around workers overall unhappiness with the giant mineworkers union, and not wages.

Their counterparts at Lonmin, also in the North West, ended their wage dispute on Tuesday evening by agreeing to an increase of between 11 and 22 percent.

The five-week illegal strike saw a rise in violence in the mining town, claiming a total of 46 lives.