Amplats to negotiate with Amcu

Over 100,000 Amcu members threatened to go on a strike which could cripple the platinum sector.

Over 100,000 Amcu members threatened to go on a strike which could cripple the platinum sector. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - As thousands of miners prepare to down tools this week over wages, one of the three platinum producers has called the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) to the negotiating table.

Over 100,000 miners from Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin have threatened to strike from Thursday, demanding a minimum R12,500 salary.

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa says only Amplats has come forward requesting to negotiate.

"The agenda is about the demands of our members. We are always hopeful and at the end of the day we have to resolve this matter."

Furthermore, tensions within Amcu may derail Thursday's mass action.

A group of disgruntled union members say they don't believe the union can pull off the strike and that not all members agreed to it.

TOUGH TIMES AHEAD FOR ECONOMY

Economists say it's going to be difficult for the country's ailing economy to recover from another mining strike.

Experts have also warned the strike could affect the country's credit rating as well as weaken the rand further.

Economist Mike Schussler said, "We have a tendency to strike and that means people don't want to put money in South Africa because they see we have labour unrest."

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Monday warned of dire consequences for the economy if major strikes in the mining sector went ahead.