Gold mine workers are set to resume work this week after the industry strike was resolved on Sunday.
AngloGold Ashanti and Sibanye Gold returned to work on Friday, while Harmony Gold Mining employees returned to work on Sunday after accepting the final wage offer made by the Chamber of Mines of between 7.5% and 8%. Gold One International has also resumed normal production at its Cooke 1-3 Underground Operations and Randfontein Surface Operations.
Harmony chief executive officer, Graham Briggs, warned that “continued industrial action will make this increase unaffordable, and place the future viability of some of our operations under threat. This, in turn, could have an impact on jobs.”
The gold sector strike was compounded by another wage strike in the motor industry, where over 30 000 assembly line workers at major carmakers in South Africa down tools last week.
Both strikes have since been resolved. “We are calling off the strike so workers can return on Monday,” says Karl Cloete, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa‘s (Numsa) deputy general secretary.
The strike season, which is threatening to have a crippling effect on South Africa’s economy, is not over yet, however, as petrol attendants have embarked on a wage strike as well.