ANGLO American Platinum (Amplats), the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, said on Monday that it had raised its offer to end the eight-week strike at its Rustenburg, Union and Amandelbult mining operations.
Amplats has lost about 3,600 ounces of platinum a day during the strike, worth R49m at current prices. It also had to cancel chrome ore deliveries, though it continued delivering platinum to its customers.
The previous offer included a one-off "hardship allowance" of R2,000 and a one-off "loyalty allowance" of R2,000 for those employees who did not participate in the illegal strike. All employees affected by the no-work, no-pay principle would be afforded an opportunity to apply for a payment advance of up to R2,500.
The new offer consists of a one-off allowance of R4,500 to be paid to each qualifying employee, comprising a R2,000 loyalty or hardship allowance and a R2,500 safe start-up allowance to be paid two weeks after employees have returned to work and have started actual work.
If the offer is accepted, workers could return to work later on Monday.
"We have previously stated that the operations are under tremendous economic pressure, which is being exacerbated by the current illegal strike," said Amplats CEO Chris Griffith. "The return to work offer that has been agreed with the unions and the strike committee will require almost R220m to fund."
Mr Griffith added: "The workers’ current demand of a salary increase of R4,500 per month would cost approximately R2.6bn, an amount that is clearly not affordable in a year when the company is experiencing such economic challenges."