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Amplats wage talks to resume

Chamber of Mines is expected to table an offer to NUM and Coastu on Tuesday.

Striking Anglo Platinum workers demonstrate at the company's Blesbok stadium, demanding a R12 500 salary. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Monday said it was positive it would be able to reach an agreement with the Chamber of Mines to resolve the strikes crippling the platinum mining sector.

The giant mining union, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the chamber are expected to meet again on Tuesday, to review the current wage agreements which expire next year.

The NUM spokesperson Lesiba Seshoka said talks with the Chamber of Mines, which started on Friday, had gone well so far and that it expected the Chamber of Mines to table an offer on Tuesday.

"We expect that at the end of the process, we would have established, successfully, a platinum bargaining forum so that all the workers' demands in the platinum sector can be dealt with at a centralised forum."

Seshoka said the union hoped that solution would bring an end to the continuous strikes crippling the sector.

The gold and coal sectors already use collective bargaining platforms.

Meanwhile, NUM is currently consulting with its lawyers to fight for recognition at Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg, which says the union only represents 13 percent of its workforce.

A BLEAK OUTLOOK FOR THE RAND

The rand has hit its lowest level against the dollar in three years.

Economists said foreign investors are losing confidence due to strikes by miners in the platinum belt and truck drivers nationwide.

The Efficient Group's chief economist, Dawie Roodt, said things were not looking good.

"South Africa has become a less attractive investment destination for foreigners, and they're not funding our current account deficit anymore, and that simply means the money is not available.

"Money is flowing out of South Africa, both from the capital and the current account."