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Aug 21, 2013

South Africa gold wage talks stuck, strike risk rises

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Six weeks of wage talks
between South African gold producers and unions have failed to
bridge the chasm between their positions, increasing the
prospect of crippling strikes in a declining industry battling
low prices and soaring costs.

Gold mine stoppages would inflict more damage on Africa’s
largest economy, which is already losing $60 million a day to a
strike by 30,000 workers in the car manufacturing sector that
accounts for 6 percent of gross domestic product.

Aug 19, 2013

Amplats to cut 7,000 South African jobs, union ‘shocked’

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Anglo American Platinum
(Amplats) said it planned almost 7,000 job cuts at its South
African operations including thousands of compulsory lay-offs,
drawing an angry response from a labour union and raising the
risk of renewed unrest at its mines.

Amplats, the world’s top platinum producer and a
unit of Anglo American, had aimed for 14,000 job cuts
after posting its first loss last year, but lowered the target
after a backlash from the government and the unions, which
organised a series of strikes.

Jul 10, 2013

South African miners demand leap to “living wage”

JOHANNESBURG, July 10 (Reuters) – “A living wage” is the
battle cry of South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (AMCU) as it and rival unions plunge into pay
talks this month with mining houses.

But what is a living wage for a South African miner?

Finding a definition, no easy task, has become the goal of
an increasingly militant labour force demanding pay increases
ranging from 15 to 150 percent, which mining companies can ill
afford as precious metals prices tumble and costs surge.

Jul 7, 2013

Price-cost pinch dulls last lustre of South Africa’s gold

KROMDRAAI/JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – A hand drill lying in the hillside tunnel of a 19th-century South African gold mine testifies to the back-breaking labour by black miners that built what was once the world’s biggest bullion industry.

But even with basic tools and cheap labour, costs overran returns at the Kromdraai gold mine north of Johannesburg, which listed in London in 1893 and closed in 1914.

Jul 7, 2013

Analysis: Price-cost pinch dulls last luster of South Africa’s gold

KROMDRAAI/JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – A hand drill lying in the hillside tunnel of a 19th-century South African gold mine testifies to the back-breaking labor by black miners that built what was once the world’s biggest bullion industry.

But even with basic tools and cheap labor, costs overran returns at the Kromdraai gold mine north of Johannesburg, which listed in London in 1893 and closed in 1914.

Jul 2, 2013

Can Obama’s Africa Power plan hold a candle to China?

JOHANNESBURG, July 2 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack
Obama’s $7 billion plan to shine “light where currently there’s
darkness” in Africa by doubling access to power on the world’s
poorest continent was billed as a highlight of his African tour.

He announced the Power Africa initiative in Cape Town on
Sunday in a speech which he also urged the fast-growing but
still troubled region to follow the shining example of South
Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

Jun 28, 2013

S.African union gives Glencore ultimatum to rehire sacked workers

JOHANNESBURG, June 28 (Reuters) – A South African union gave
Glencore Xstrata a seven-day ultimatum on Friday to
rehire more than 1,000 workers fired at chrome mines for wildcat
protests or face unspecified action.

The protests, launched in solidarity with a worker who said
he was assaulted by a supervisor in an incident which has taken
on racial overtones, are part of a wave of labour unrest that
has shaken the mining sector in the world’s top platinum
producer.

Jun 27, 2013

Oil hunt in Ugandan national park tests Africa’s eco defenses

KAMPALA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the majestic Nile river and boasts some of Africa’s wildlife treasures – elephants, lions and a rare giraffe sub-species.

Beneath it lies another natural prize: oil. Now French energy giant Total has begun surveys to prepare for seismic tests in the national park, one of Uganda’s last great wilderness areas, as a prelude to probable crude production.

Jun 26, 2013

Strike at South Africa’s Lonmin averted in favour of wider talks

JOHANNESBURG, June 26 (Reuters) – South Africa’s hardline
miners union postponed talks with platinum producer Lonmin
, averting an imminent strike, to allow more time for the
government to reach a wider stability pact between labour and
the mining industry.

South Africa’s deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, is
trying to get unions and companies across the mining industry to
sign up to a stability pact as wage talks kick off to bring an
end to unrest that has been rocking the sector.

Jun 25, 2013

S.Africa’s AMCU union wants entry-level gold miners’ pay doubled

JOHANNESBURG, June 25 (Reuters) – South Africa’s AMCU mining
union is demanding gold mining companies more than double the
wages of entry-level workers, according to a document seen by
Reuters on Tuesday, raising the stakes for pay talks set for
early next month.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)
demands far exceed those made by the dominant National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM) union, an ally of the ruling ANC party that is
keen to ease tensions in the sector before elections next year.

    • About Ed

      "I cover commodities in southerrn Africa, a region that I have returned to after spending over four years covering religion, politics and the Great Recession in America. I am a Canadian citizen and grew up in Nova Scotia."
      Joined Reuters:
      1995
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