South Africa’s ruling African National Congress said mining companies shouldn’t yield to “scare tactics” by labor unions as platinum and chrome mines were shut after work stoppages that have damped economic growth.
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said companies, the government and labor unions need to end disputes that are halting mines and have pushed the rand to a four-year low against the dollar.
Unions have asked South Africa’s biggest gold and coal producers to raise wages by as much as 61 percent, or 10 times the inflation rate. The country’s gold- stocks index dropped to an almost 12-year low.
Anglo American Platinum Ltd. said its mines are running as usual after a group of workers threatened to strike if the world’s biggest producer of the metal refuses to drop proposals to cut as many as 6,000 jobs.
The rand weakened to a four-year low against the dollar, extending its longest losing streak in a year on concern that renewed labor unrest and falling commodity prices will weigh on South Africa’s economy.
Some miners at Anglo American Platinum Ltd. plan to strike should the world’s biggest producer of the metal not drop by tomorrow a proposal to cut as many as 6,000 jobs. The shares fell to the lowest since August 2005.
Lonmin Plc, the third-largest platinum producer, said its largest mine is back to normal after employees returned from a two-day wildcat strike as the biggest on-site union awaits a decision on official recognition.