News / Africa

S. Africa Mines, Workers Reach Agreement

Miners sing as during their strike at the AngloGold Ashanti Mine in Fochville, near Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 18, 2012.
Miners sing as during their strike at the AngloGold Ashanti Mine in Fochville, near Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 18, 2012.
VOA News
South African gold mining companies have signed a new wage deal aimed at ending strikes that have crippled the industry.

The deal between mineworkers' unions and three major mining companies, signed Thursday, gives mineworkers cumulative wage hikes of between 11 and 20 percent.  

The increase is on top of earlier pay rises that took effect in July.

Illegal strikes by South African mine workers had intensified since August, when police opened fire on striking workers at a platinum mine and killed 34 people. Police said they were firing in self-defense.

The workers at that mine eventually won a 22-percent pay raise, a move that prompted workers at other mines to demand better pay and improved work conditions.

The strikes prompted mining companies to issue ultimatums to workers to return to work or face dismissal.

Thursday's agreement does not affect workers in the platinum and coal mining industries.

  • Striking miners chant slogans as they gather at the AngloGold Ashanti mine in Carletonville, northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, October 25, 2012.
  • Striking miners react as they make way for a security vehicle at the AngloGold Ashanti mine in Carletonville, northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, October 25, 2012.
  • Striking miners march to meet some of the management team at the AngloGold Ashanti mine in Carletonville, South Africa, October 18, 2012.
  • Miners encounter police at the AngloGold Ashanti mine in Carletonville, South Africa, October 18, 2012.
  • Striking mine workers protest outside the Anglo American Mine in Rustenburg, South Africa, October 5, 2012.
  • Police keep watch as striking miners gather outside the mine in Rustenburg, August 15, 2012.
  • Policemen fire at striking miners outside the mine in Rustenburg, August 16, 2012.
  • Women from a group of churchgoers at the Lonmin platinum mine during a memorial service for 34 dead striking miners who were shot and killed, Aug. 19, 2012.
  • Released mine workers celebrate their release at Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
  • Miners sing and dance as they march to Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa, Sept. 10, 2012, in an attempt to stop operations.

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