Impala talks fail, teeters on strike

[] — SOUTH Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Friday its latest wage talks with Impala Platinum (Implats) had collapsed and the union would consult its members next week on whether to embark on a strike.

The NUM is demanding a 10% pay rise across the board and R1700 ($232.1) in housing allowance for its members.

Implats, the world’s second-largest platinum producer, had offered a 7.5% pay rise for workers in the high income bracket and 8% for those in the lower category.

A conciliator met Implats management and the NUM on Thursday to try end the deadlock.

“The talks did not yield any good results, there is no agreement. There is no improvement on (Implats) offer,” Eddie Majadibodu, the NUM’s chief negotiator at Implats, told Reuters.

“We are going back to report to our members next week and they will give us the mandate, if they say let’s strike we will go on strike, it will depend on what they say.”

A strike vote at Implats last week showed that members were split over whether to go through with a planned labour action.

Africa’s biggest economy has been hit by a wave of strikes and strike threats in both the private and public sector that have led to above inflation settlements, raising fears that the cost of living will rise.

South Africa’s inflation rate was at 4.2% in June.

Implats said on Thursday it expects lower full-year profit due to an increase in share-based expenses.