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Kloof miners drop strike action as deal is reached

Partial settlement could signal end of gold-miners' walkout

Some gold-miners were heading back to work yesterday after just three days of industrial action in response to a pay offer they had described as “slave wages.”

“The strike is partially over,” National Union of Mineworkers spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said, but he did not indicate how many of its 80,000 strikers had returned.

Sibanye Gold said that workers at its Kloof mine near Johannesburg ended their strike last night and that it hoped its Beatrix mine in Free State province would reopen sooon.

The National Union of Mineworkers launched the strike on Tuesday night with demands for a 60 per cent “living wage” increase.

A day later two smaller mining firms signed agreements for lower-than-expected wage rises, suggesting the strike could soon be over.

In addition to Sibanye, South Africa’s other main gold producers — AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold — had also seen walkouts but have not yet reached any agreements.

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