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Ramatlhodi urges better wages for miners

The minister says government needs to create conditions for peaceful 'contestation and co-existence'.

Ngaoko Ramatlhodi. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Ngaoko Ramatlhodi has warned mining houses in the platinum sector to become more proactive and offer better wages to workers when salary negotiations reopen in 2017.

Addressing concerns of further union rivalry between Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Ramatlhodi says government needs to create conditions for peaceful 'contestation and co-existence'.

But his political principal and Secretary General of the ANC Gwede Mantashe believes the best way to avoid this is for the two adversaries to join forces.

Ramatlhodi says future conflict between the NUM and Amcu can be avoided with better salaries and decent housing.

"To some extent, they can treat the workers here like they treat the workers elsewhere in the world."

Mantashe says when the unions disagree only the employer benefits and workers should therefore unite.

"The other one has experience, while the other one is young and it will make many mistakes to establish itself and the industry will pay heavily for that."

Salary negotiations will only reopen on the platinum belt in three years' time but the industry may face further union rivalry in the gold sector where Amcu continues to fight for the right to strike.

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