According to a statement issued on behalf of the Chamber of Mines yesterday the Gold  Producers presented a final offer to the unions on Thursday, 30 July and the unions were due to meet with their members and a meeting is scheduled between the employers and AMCU for today and with the Num, Solidarity and Uasa on Friday, 7 August.  The offer has to be accepted by all the unions.  The Chamber hopes the unions will accept it so that the parties can move forward together to confront the challenges the industry faces.

Read the full statement issued by Charmaine Russell, spokesperson acting on behalf of the Gold Producers, Chamber of Mines, and first published on PoliticsWeb yesterday: About our final wage offer – Gold Producers.


In addition, the companies have made a number of non-wage concessions in response to union demands, including:

  • An increase in medical incapacity benefit from R40,000 to R55,000 over three years.
  • Extension of the 2011-2013 concession of the medical aid contribution rates to 60% for employers and 40% for Cat 4-8 employees for three years from the date of the wage agreement.
  • Increase in the current guaranteed minimum severance pay of R20,000 to R30,000 over three years.
  • Extension of retirement age for surface workers from 60 to 63 years as from 1 July 2015, subject to meeting company medical examinations and fitness-to-work assessments as required.
  • Employees who wish to retire at 60 or before 63 shall be entitled to do so.

The companies propose that a task team be established to investigate the extension of the retirement age for underground employees from 60 to 63 years of age.  The task team must complete a written report on its findings and recommendations within six months.

Q – Just how bad a state is the South African gold industry in?

A – The gold companies’ share prices are at multi-year lows, reflecting investors’ bearish outlook on gold price and growing uncertainty around the viability of South African production given its spiralling cost base.  The industry faces significant challenges as a result of falling dollar gold prices, aging infrastructure and depleting ore bodies, rapidly rising costs, electricity-related constraints and disruptions and greater distances to working faces which affect productivity.  As a result, company margins are under severe pressure, placing the sustainability of many mines and shafts under threat.  In fact, when we tabled our first firm offer based on the companies’ economic models, the gold price was $1,200 per ounce.  The gold price has subsequently declined by nearly $100 per ounce to around $1,100 – the lowest gold price in more than five years.