Platinum miners and pit owners have reached a deal principle ending the five month strike threatening to drive South Africa into recession.
With a public holiday on Monday, it could be three days before anything’s signed.
The industrial action is the main reason for two credit agencies lowering the country’s rating.
General Secretary of the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union Joseph Matunjwa says they’ve changed South Africa’s mining industry forever.
He says they’ve reached a deal in principle to end the strike although he needs to consult with the mining houses.
Lowest paid members in his union will make 600 euros more a month over the next three years –less than the immediate 780 euros a month they’ve been holding out for.
Matunjwa says if the mining house restructure or shed jobs it will be a deal breaker.
Economists concur that there cannot a recovery from the strike that cost the mining houses 1.3 billion euros in lost revenue and the miners half of that in lost wages.
Ratings agency Standard and Poors dropped South Africa’s credit rating to BBB, just one notch up on junk bond status.
The Fitch agency dropped its rating from stable to negative.
In addition to the miners strike they cited sluggish economic growth and South Africa’s constrained electricity supply.