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Gold Fields' South Deep mine and trade unions the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Uasa, have concluded a three-year wage agreement for the period from March 1, 2021, to February 28, 2024.
The parties believe the agreement is in the best interest of employees and the mine's long-term sustainability.
The agreement provides for category 4 to 8 employees to receive a wage increase of 8% in year one, and 8% or consumer price index (CPI) (whichever is greater) in years two and three.
Miners, artisans and officials will receive a wage increase of 6% in year one, and 6% or CPI (whichever is greater) in years two and three.
CPI-related increases will also be applied to housing allowances.
Living-out allowances will be phased out over the three-year period, as required by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and as the mine rolls out its housing strategy.
The total increase of the settlement amounts to an average increase of 6.5% a year over the three-year period.
A range of non-wage related issues have also been agreed to, including an alignment of leave and shift configurations, as well as amendments to other conditions of employment with a view to standardise them across all occupational levels and simplifying associated administrative processes.
NUM regional chairperson Ndlela Radebe says the union is satisfied with the agreement, especially considering the difficult circumstances South Africa and the world are facing owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. "We believe it will go a long way in improving the livelihoods of workers and their families, while sustaining the business and ensuring sustainable job security," he comments.
Uasa divisional manager and chief negotiator Franz Stehring notes that, given the prevailing economic climate and the bullish commodity market, the settlement reached with South Deep through constructive engagements "sets a benchmark for other mining companies".
"The settlement agreement is fair and balanced, taking into account the impact that increases in cost of living are likely to have on employees over the next three years, and the future sustainability of our mine.
"We commend all parties for the constructive manner in which the negotiations have taken place," concludes South Deep VP of people and organisation effectiveness Gerrit Lotz.