Gold mines turn down demands for higher wages

Gold producers say a demand by trade unions for higher ages is simply ‘unaffordable’.

Harmony Gold's Kusasalethu mine. Picture: Harmony Gold.

JOHANNESBURG - Gold producers have turned down trade unions' demand for higher wages, saying it is 'unaffordable'.

But the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), trade union Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa (Uasa) have refused to lower their demand, after a third round of talks in Boksburg on Tuesday.

AngloGold Ashanti, Evander Gold Mines, Harmony Gold, Sibanye Gold and Village Main Reef said the demands made by the unions are as high as an additional R16.5 billion across the five companies.

Gold producers' spokesperson Charmane Russell said talks have been disappointing in the last few days.

"Certainly the four unions engaged in wage negotiations have not shown any sign of movement on their part as yet. But of the positive side is that we're still talking."