NUM reportedly seeks 37% pay hike in gold sector over 2 years

The demands far exceed the current inflation rate of 3.8% and suggest potentially tough negotiations with companies that have been battling to contain soaring costs in the world’s deepest mines.

FILE: Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has reportedly submitted wage hike demands in the gold sector of up to 37% over a two-year period.

The demands far exceed the current inflation rate of 3.8% and suggest potentially tough negotiations with companies that have been battling to contain soaring costs in the world’s deepest mines.

In a document seen by Reuters, the NUM wants a basic monthly pay for entry-level underground workers to rise to R10,500 over the next two years, which translates into annual increases of between 15% and 18.5%, depending on the company.

This is less than opening demands of up to 75% by the NUM in previous negotiations, a sign that lower inflation and food prices may be moderating expectations.

The three-year agreements reached in 2015 saw basic wage hikes of between 10% and 13% per year.

However, the union’s Livhuwani Mammburu won’t be drawn on the demands.

“We can confirm that the NUM has submitted the wage demand, we’re just waiting for the wage negotiations to start.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)