Jean-Jacques Cornish

Platinum miners’strike settlement still foggy


A deal ending the five-month platinum miners’ strike in South Africa remains up in the air.

The leading union says it’s accepted the mining houses offer.

But both they and the world’s largest producers of the precious, strategic metal say there will have to be further talks this week.

Mines Minister Nkoako Ramatlhodi is upbeat about a settlement ending the strike driving into recession the country that produces 80 percent of the world’s platinum.

Ramatlhodi admits the devil remains in the detail.

Technical adviser to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union Brian Ashley says they wrote to the mining houses on Monday accepting their offer.

It will double miners’ wages by 2017 but still falls short of their demand for 800 euros a month.

Ashley says the miners are expected to go back underground by next Monday.

Spokesman for Impala Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and Lonmin Johan Theron says there’s still some work to be done.

The miners want to get their increase within three years. The owners want to stretch it out over five

Meetings scheduled for last weekend to agree the details didn’t happen.

Amcu’s in court seeking to embark on a strike in the gold sector. Its members there are also demanding a minimum monthly wage of 800 euros.

Gold producers say a strike based on such as a demand could devastate the industry.


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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.