RBPlat has successfully concluded a wage agreement with its permanent employees, represented by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). The current three-year wage agreement expired on 30 June 2014.

The new wage agreement will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will be effective from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017, while the second phase, the terms of which have already been agreed to (as disclosed below), will be effective from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019.

Given the duration of the new wage agreement, the parties have agreed that a wage review will be undertaken in May 2017. The purpose of this review will be to ensure that the agreed increases are in line with the Consumer Price Index prevailing at that time, and that RBPlat’s minimum wage remains in line with that of the platinum industry.

The new wage agreement applies to all RBPlat employees within the A to D1 categories which constitute 89% of the Company’s workforce.

RBPlat management believes that the new wage agreement is unique in that it presents a total value proposition for all Company stakeholders. It incorporates an Efficiency Improvement Model designed to assist RBPlat to achieve its long-term business objectives while ensuring that employees meet their performance targets. A committee comprising management and recognised trade union representatives will oversee the implementation of the Model.

The value proposition includes a housing component that forms part of the housing scheme the Company announced on 2 June 2014. The housing scheme enhances the ability of employees to create sustainable personal wealth through ownership of an asset that will appreciate over time. The safe and secure environment offered by the housing scheme is expected to support a family orientated lifestyle. It is also envisaged that decent living conditions for employees will contribute positively towards improved performance and the prevailing safety culture. The present Living Out Allowance (LOA) and Home Owners Allowance (HOA) will be gradually phased out as employees are allocated homes and applied instead as Housing Fund Contributions.

The LOAs and HOAs that remain in place will be increased by approximately 7% per annum for the first two years of the new wage agreement and thereafter remain the same for the remaining three years. The new agreement is expected to increase the total labour cost-to-company for RBPlat’s A to D1 category employees by an average of 9.6% per annum over the five-year period of the agreement.

All Company employees within the A to D1 categories will receive increases on basic pay on a sliding scale as follows:

  • Employees employed and utilised as Development or Stoping Machine Operators (Rock Drill Operators) will receive annual increases of 10.5%, 10.5%, 9.5%, 10.5% and 9.5% on 1 July of every year from 2014 to 2018 respectively;
  • A1 to B7 Band employees (excluding Rock Drill Operators) will receive annual increases of 10%, 10%, 9%, 10%, and 9% on 1 July of every year from 2014 to 2018 respectively; and
  • Employees in the Supervisory Bargaining Unit will receive annual increases of 8%, 8%, 7%, 8% and 7% on 1 July of every year from 2014 to 2018 respectively.

RBPlat believes that the new agreement will provide the company and all its business partners with a critical measure of stability as they continue to focus on growing the business for all stakeholders.

The company acknowledges with appreciation the commitment and dedication of its workforce which has enabled it to continue with stable operations. The company also acknowledges the constructive and mature manner in which the wage negotiations process was conducted by the union (NUM).

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