Jean-Jacques Cornish

Platinum miners’ strike settlement deadlock

There been another deadlock in settling the five-month platinum miners’ strike in South Africa.

Owners of the world’s biggest producers of the metal crucial for the automotive industry are urging the workers to go back to the deal they struck last week but have yet to sign.

Miners keen to go back to work are already streaming back to the mines.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union says the deal it agreed to ending the 21-week strike was conditional on its members receiving a once-off cash payment and an increase in allowances.

These conditions are what’s delaying signing the agreement that was expected days ago.

Spokesman for Amplats, one of three mining houses paralysed by the strike, Mpumi Sithole says the latest AMCU conditions fall outside the settlement agreed last week.

Sithole calls the demands unaffordable.

National Council of Trade Unions President Joseph Maquekeni says the only condition outstanding last week was how long the agreed increase would be drawn out.

The miners want it in three years. The producers want it to be drawn out over five.

The union’s letter of response to the producers on Monday demands the reinstatement of more than 200 essential services employees dismissed during the course of the strike.

The mining houses say that there’s been a spike in workers, who’ve not been paid since January, returning to the mines.



Enquire about availability for radio, podcasts, reporting or opinion pieces.

Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.