JOHANNESBURG Feb 10 The world's top platinum
producers and the AMCU union will hold separate meetings with a
South African state mediator this week to discuss a stoppage
over wages but no talks are scheduled between the companies and
Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction
Union (AMCU) downed tools over two weeks ago at Anglo American
Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin
after wage talks failed, and the prospect of a resolution looks
distant without the companies and union coming together.
Hitting over 40 percent of global output of the precious
metal, the strike is stoking tensions on South Africa's platinum
belt and an AMCU shop steward was killed on Friday in a clash
The state mediator said in a statement on Monday afternoon
that it would meet with AMCU on Thursday and follow up with the
producers on Friday.
Earlier the companies had said they would be meeting on
The strike and the growing uncertainty over how to bring it
to an end have undermined investor confidence in Africa's
largest economy at a time when the rand currency has
traded near five-year lows.
The stoppages are costing the country an estimated $36
million a day and are an unwelcome distraction for President
Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress three months
ahead of general elections.
AMCU wants a more than doubling of basic pay to 12,500 rand
($1,100) a month, which companies say they can ill afford as
they grapple with soaring costs and depressed global demand for
the metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in
The companies have offered wage hikes of up to 9 percent
which they say are fair given an inflation rate of 5.4 percent.