Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani has admitted that both the mining companies and striking workers were to blame for the deadlock, as both parties struggle to reach an agreement that would end the five-month strike in South Africa’s platinum industry.
“We have to modernise the industry and improve our relationships. The current fight will not get us there. We have to do this together,” Cutifani said, speaking at the Melbourne Mining Club’s annual dinner at Lord’s cricket ground in London.
The Association of Mineworker and Construction Union (Amcu) has persisted to demand a basic wage of R12 500 for its members, while producers have continued to insist that the demand is unattainable given current productivity. “That is the fight we’ve had to have and we’ll see it through,” Cutifani said.
Nevertheless, he added that the blame for the impasse lay with both the mining companies and the striking workers. “With a strike going on for five months, something is missing from the relationship,” he pointed out.
The mines’ current offer would see workers earn a minimum cash remuneration – comprising basic wages and holiday, living-out and other allowances – of R12 500 a month by 2017.
“We need to improve that (productivity) to pay more. The key for South Africa is productivity. The key for changing the country and creating a new future is productivity. In the long term that is the conversation we are promoting with the government in South Africa.
“We have to work out how to get there. We will need to change the structure of the industry in time together,” he concluded.
Workers and producers both to blame for ongoing strike
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