Platinum sector in 'severe financial distress'

Amplats CEO Chris Griffiths says the platinum giant cannot negotiate in a climate of anarchy.

Amplats miners march to Bleskop Stadium in Rustenburg on 6 October 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's platinum industry is in "severe financial distress", Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) CEO Chris Griffiths said on Thursday.

The company warned that elevated wage settlements to get the miners back to work will ultimately lead to job cuts.

The world's largest platinum producer said it cannot negotiate in a climate of anarchy.

Miners at the company have been on wage strikes close on seven weeks now.

Griffiths said, "We have an existing wage agreement in place. What management, the industry and the country cannot afford is that we negotiate in a climate of anarchy.

"When anybody decides that the wage settlement we had agreed to is no longer good enough, then let us just kill people and then say we represent workers and we need R12,500 or R16,000 [a month in wages]."

Amplats has already dismissed 12,000 miners who refuse to return to work.