Gold Fields’ South Deep Gold Mine and the NUM and UASA trade unions have concluded a three-year wage agreement for the March 1, 2021, to February 28, 2024. The parties believe that the agreement is in the best interest of employees and the mine’s long-term sustainability.

Category 4-8 employees will receive a wage increase of 8% in year 1, and 8% or CPI (whichever is the greater) in years 2 and 3. Miners, Artisans and Officials will receive a wage increase of 6% in year 1, and 6% or CPI (whichever is the greater) in years 2 and 3. 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, 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 standardize them across all occupational levels and simplifying associated administrative processes.

“Considering the difficult circumstances South Africa and the world are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are satisfied with the settlement we have entered into,” NUM PWV regional chairperson, Ndlela Radebe, said. “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.

“We look forward to continuing the much-improved working relationship between the parties for the foreseeable future.”

Divisional Manager and Chief Negotiator for UASA Franz Stehring said, “Given the prevailing economic climate and the bullish commodity market, the settlement reached with South Deep Gold Mine through constructive engagements sets a benchmark for other mining companies.”

Gerrit Lotz, vice president of people and organizational effectiveness at South Deep, said, “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.”