Gold sector hopeful agreement will be reached

Gold companies are confident a compromise will be reached in talks between themselves, the NUM & Amcu.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Gold companies are confident an agreement will be reached soon with unions through mediation, and resorting to strike action would be premature.

On Thursday, mining unions, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) announced that wage talks had deadlocked with the Chamber of Mines.

Employers said they'd reverted to the initial offer of a 7.8 and 13 percent increase.

The employers, meanwhile, are offering a hike of between R450 and R750.

NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said, "We are very disappointed because we have been here for eight weeks and the chamber just took us back to day one. So, we're asking ourselves why we've been negotiating here for eight weeks."

The Chamber of Mines' Charmane Russell said employers are confident a compromise will be reached.

"If we take a look back over the last 10 or 15 years, every single wage negotiation in the gold sector has ended in some kind of dispute and some kind of mediated process."

Mammburu said talks are back at square one and that they will take the dispute to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).