Amadeusz Juskowiak

Black south african miners seek wage rise

The National Union of Mineworkers NUM said it will demand a 55 pct annual wage increase in upcoming negotiations with South Africas mining companies

The union representing some 360000 black workers at about 118 mines last year sought a 45 pct boost in salaries and settled for 235 pct

NUM General Secretary Cyril Ramaphosa told a news conference the miners were very angry at low wagesAnd are prepared to press their struggle for as long as it takes to get their demands met

Salaries for black miners currently range from a low of 195 rand or 94 dlrs a month to 800 rand or 384 dlrs with an average monthly wage of 345 rand or 165 dlrs Ramaphosa said

He also said the union has asked the mining companies to begin new contract talks on April one instead of the usual May one starting time The current oneyear contract expires at the end of June