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NUM and Royal Bafokeng signed a wage agreement today

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The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) today signed a three-year wage agreement with the Royal Bafokeng Platinum.

The NUM wishes to express its sincere gratitude to its members at Albert Luthuli branch in Rustenburg, for the manner in which they behaved during the negotiation period up until they gave us mandate to sign the agreement.

We experience a sense of renewed vigour, confidence and determination on the part of our members to continue the struggle for “living wage” for the historical wage gap to be closed and re-assert hegemony of the NUM in the mining industry.

We have to make it clear that the NUM will never allow a situation where our members risk their precious life, deep down the surface of the earth in searing heat to earn poverty wages.

We are also appreciative of the level of maturity and discipline displaced by the parties in the negotiation. The negotiation took place in an atmosphere characterized by reciprocal obligation and element of trust, respect and good faith. The processes were conducted within parameter of application legislation and the Constitution of this country.

For Example:
• South Africa’s Constitution gives all people right to life and freedom of association
• There are no reported cases of loss of life of innocent worker and committee member
• No damage to properties, being it for company or worker or local people
• No loss of income or repossession of property
It is our firm view that his agreement represents a genuine victory for mineworkers, their families, communities and the industry. The parties concluded the agreement understanding the deep socio-economic in the platinum industry and mindful of goals of the National Development Plan, as well the goals and imperatives of transformation as stipulated in the Mining Charter and the MPRDA.

Wage Offer

The wage offer by the Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RB Plat) Mines underlines broader issues facing workers, communities and the industry. It demonstrates the maturity and commitment to working with stakeholders to find solutions to address these issues and to deliver sustainable benefits for all involved.

This agreement is expected to increase the total labour cost-to-company by 9.1 on average, over 3-year period.

The increases will be effective from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017. Each year of the agreement, beginning 1 July 2014 until 30 June 2017, all employees within the A to D1 categories will receive increases on their basic pay, on a sliding scale as follows:

Employees employed and utilised as Development or Stoping Machine Operators ( Rock Drill Operators) will receive 10.5%, 10.5% and 9.5%, each year;
A1 to B7 Band employees (excluding Rock Drill Operators) will receive 10%, 10% and 9% each year; and
Employees in the Supervisory Bargaining Unit will receive 8%, 8% and 7% each year.
The parties have also increased the minimum wages of employees over the period.

The lowest paid underground workers at Royal Bafokeng Platinum mine are to get a monthly top up of R2 000.00 for the first year, R2 400.00 for the second year and R2 806.00 for the third year for the duration of the wage agreement. This agreement will see the lowest paid worker earn over R12 000 a month within this period.

The lowest paid workers will, within the next two years, have a guaranteed package of R14 594, plus bonus and overtime. This compares favourably with the settlement reached by some of the major platinum producers after an internecine five-month-strike action.


-The company will pay 100% medical aid for the lowest paid employees and for the supervisors the company will pay 70% subsidy for their medical aid.

Housing subsidy

-The company will pay R2 600-housing subsidy for the lowest paid employees in the first year and R3 900 for the third year. In the first year, the employees will only contribute R400 towards their bond which is R3 000. The value of the houses being built for our members in Rustenburg is R600 000 and the payment of bond of R3 000 person that includes tax and rates.

Pension and provident fund

-The company will contribute 7% for pension fund and 7% for provident fund. The total contribution in both funds by the company will be 14 %. Employees will contribute 7 % towards both funds.


Our members had informed us that the Royal Bafokeng Platinum bonus scheme is one of the best in the mining industry. A minimum monthly bonus for the production crew is R 9000 minimum per person if the employee had worked 350 per square metre and the maximum will R18 000 for 450 to 500 per square metre excluding their monthly salary. Employees working on production total including bonuses take home around R28 000 per month.

The offer is a testimony that the original collective bargaining strategy of the union that aims to achieve a decent wage is still on track and what the union has managed to do is to show sustained bona fide negotiations do work in South Africa as well as to meet our deadlines for effecting the wage agreement as per the traditional date.

The NUM is on track to achieve a massive reduction in inequality of pay of workers, with the lowest paid benefiting the most.

For more information, please contact:
Papi Motete: 083 289 3036: NUM Albert Luthuli Branch Chairperson
Tshimane Montoedi:082 808 9373: NUM Deputy General Secretary
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