HomeBusiness and policyLow wages in mining sector a legacy of apartheid

Low wages in mining sector a legacy of apartheid

The National Union of Mineworkers is ready to face-off with gold sector companies represented by The Minerals Council South Africa.

A statement from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) reads:

The NUM will approach the gold mining wage negotiations with agility and determination on the following demands:


Entry level on surface: R9 500

Entry level underground: R10 500

Officials: 15% across board


Living out allowance: R3 000

Housing allowance: R5 000


Shift allowance: 12%

Night shift allowance: 12%

Calendar premium: 15% (AGA, PanAf)

Standby allowance: 10%

Transport allowance: R450

Acting allowance: 100% of the salary of the position

Long service award: R2 000 for each year of service paid at 5 year intervals

Workers utilising conveyor belt: R2 500 monthly allowance


Annual leave days to be a minimum of 35 days

Maternity leave to be a minimum of 6 months fully paid by the employer

Family responsibility leave to be a minimum of 10 days

Ante-natal and post-natal leave to be a minimum of 10 days

Compassionate leave to be a minimum of 5 days

Paternity leave to be a minimum of 10 days

Study leave to be a minimum of 3 days per subject

Sick leave to be increased to 120 days over a 2 year period

Accident leave to be unlimited

Sick leave due to occupational disease to be unlimited

Medical incapacity

R75 000 on being declared medically incapacitated

Employers to take responsibility for medical costs of employees repatriated as a result of injury on duty or occupational disease

Funeral benefit

Principal member, spouse and children 14-21 years: R40 000

Children 6-13 years: R25 000

Stillborn children: R15 000

Transport to funeral (fatal accident/ occupational disease death)

Severance pay

Four weeks for every year of service

A minimum severance package of R45 000 from R30 000


Mines to cease using sub-contractors for non-specialised work

Meal allowance

R120 per day

Medical Aid

Employer contribution: 70%

Employee contribution: 30%

Increase the choice to 3 medical aid schemes

Service increment

Annual service increment of 2%

Category 4 and 5 supervisors

To be upgrade to category 7

 Mainline/ Double header loco drivers (PanAF/ AGA)

To be upgraded to C1

Mourning for fatalities

The day long service to be held within 7 days of the accident happening

Employees to clock in between 07h00 and 09h00 and clock out between 14h00 and 15h00

Duration of the agreement

The term of this agreement shall be two years.

“As the NUM, we have always maintained that wages in the mining sector remained too low, and that was as a result of apartheid legacy when the black mining labour force was ruthlessly exploited.

“The NUM also maintained that our average member typically has ten dependants, straining their ability to provide for their families.

“We expect the employers to negotiate in good faith whilst respecting the central bargaining forum.”