End Of Sibanye Strike Good For Mining: Mantashe

Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe says the end of the five-month-long strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations augured well for much-needed stability in the sector and the mining industry.

“We must never tire to create a conducive environment for meaningful collective bargaining negotiations; coupled with working and living conditions free from the fear of violence and intimidation,” Mantashe said last week.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) signed a three-year deal with Sibanye on Wednesday, following gruelling talks that deadlocked numerous times with several court cases, effectively ending the strike by 15000 workers at the company’s gold operations that began in November.

The wage agreement signed by Amcu is the same one signed by the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa last year, when they accepted an increase of R750 a year for July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021.

As a result of the strike, Sibanye has cut its expected gold production for 2018 to about 34600kg, or 1.1million ounces, marginally below its previous guidance of between 35000kg and 36000kg, or 1.13million ounces and 1.16million ounces.

Mantashe said the end of the strike pointed to the return to full production at Sibanye, which would impact positively on gold production figures.

He added social partners and stakeholders had to do everything in their power to ensure a productive industry and economic growth.  -ANA