NUM praises Goldfields wage agreement

NUM said its wage agreement with Goldfields set the stage for concessions by other mining companies.

FILE: The union's general secretary Frans Baleni said a large part of the agreement focused on housing. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworker (NUM) on Monday said its wage agreement with Goldfields Mine set the stage for concessions by other mining companies in this year's wage talks.

The NUM secured a 21 percent agreement for lowest paid workers at the mechanised south deep mine, which means they will get paid close to R13,000 a month in an all-inclusive package.

The union's general secretary Frans Baleni said a large part of the agreement focused on housing.

"The housing allowance would be between R3,000 and R3,500. There will also be a R100,000 interest-free loan provided by Goldfields for any worker who wants to acquire property and we urge other companies to do the same."

The agreement was signed outside of the Chamber of Mines' centralised bargaining framework and while it's been described as unique by the companies Baleni said its consequences were concerning.

"We're expecting a big fight and we're appealing to the companies to be creative and stretch themselves."