Platinum sector losing R400m a day

As the Amcu strike enters its third week, the sector is losing close to R400m a day.

FILE: Police presence has been increased at the Anglo Platinum Rustenburg mines as miners prepare to go on strike. Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Chamber of Mines says the platinum sector is losing close to R400 million a day due to ongoing strike action.

Nearly 100,000 workers belonging to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) have downed tools following unsuccessful negotiations for a basic salary of R12,500.

The strike is now in its third week at Anglo Platinum, Lonmin and Impala Platinum in the North West Province.

The chamber's chief economist Roger Baxter says, "There's R197 million in lost revenue per day. But the total cost, including the electricity that's been paid but hasn't been used and the lost sales revenue is close to R400 million a day."

WAGE TALKS CONTINUE

Amcu is expected to receive feedback from employers in the platinum sector today after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) came up with a proposal to put an end to the ongoing wage strike in the industry.

Miners are adamant that they won't settle for anything less than R12,500 despite employers saying this demand is unrealistic.

Companies have indicated less than five percent of workers have been reporting for duty over the past week and this is putting major strain on production levels and the industry as a whole.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa will meet mining bosses again this morning and is hoping there will be some headway in the talks.

He says a R12,500 minimum salary is affordable and wants employers to see it is achievable through the CCMA process.