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Platinum strike might end soon

Amcu says Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi is the first to come forward with real solutions.

FILE IMAGE: Amcu says Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi is the first to come forward with real solutions. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) won't confirm whether it accepted the latest wage proposal, but it's hoped the intervention from government will end the strike which is nearing five months.

The union said it responded to a wage proposal tabled by the intergovernmental task team but it's up to the newly appointed Minerals Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi to pave the way forward.

About 80,000 miners from Lonmin, Implats and Amplats have been on strike demanding a R12,500 entry level salary.

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said the strike continued for so long because there hasn't been co-operation from the platinum producers.

He added that Ramatlhodi is the first to come forward with real solutions.

"He's the only minister who is hands on with this situation, so we'll give him a chance and support him, as Amcu we are open minded."

Details of the latest proposal have not emerged but it's understood that workers are likely to accept the deal which will bring the strike to end.

It has been the longest standing strike in South Africa but Mathunjwa argued the workers are doing it for their future and the livelihoods of miners in this country.

Meanwhile, Amcu said yesterday it will consider its options after the Labour Court dismissed its application to stop mining companies communicating directly with striking workers.

Mining platinum companies said SMS surveys showed workers are willing to accept an offer of a nine percent and want to end to the country's longest and costliest mining strike ever.

But with an increase in strike-related violence in recent weeks, Amcu said the companies' practice of sending text messages to workers is only fuelling tensions.

Video: Amcu and companies re-enter talks.