Media releases

Minerals Council shares information on the state of the gold sector with unions

Johannesburg, 18 July 2018: Wage negotiations between gold producers (AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Sibanye-Stillwater and Village Main Reef) and unions (AMCU, NUM, Solidarity and UASA) are continuing today.

The companies, led in this centralised collective bargaining forum by the Minerals Council South Africa (formerly the Chamber of Mines of South Africa), together directly employ around 80,000 employees engaged in these negotiations.

In his presentation to the unions this morning, Motsamai Motlhamme, Minerals Council chief negotiator, shared information with the unions about the state of the gold industry and noted that while the gold industry remains a significant contributor to the South African economy and its people, the industry continues to face major challenges. These include:

  • A stagnant gold price, and a volatile gold price and rand-dollar exchange rate which affects long-term planning, investment and production. The industry has no control over these variables.
  • Continually rising input costs, with wages and electricity together comprising around 70% of the total cost base.
  • Operational challenges, such as increasing depth of operations, ageing infrastructure, greater distances to working areas, reduced flexibility and declining grades which have all contributed to a consistent decline in production and escalating cost pressure.
  • Policy and regulatory uncertainty, which continue to negatively impact investment confidence and increased the cost of capital.

Despite the gold industry’s declining production, it continues to make an important

contribution in the lives of employees, communities and the country as whole, through the payment of taxes and royalties, by providing good quality jobs and benefits, education and training, and by continued investment in social projects and infrastructure.

Recent statistics show that the gold sector contributed R43 billion towards GDP (2016); and in 2017 produced 138 tonnes of gold; employed around 112,000 people; contributed R6.5 billion in taxes; paid royalties of R1 billion; and paid employee wages and benefits of around R30 billion.

At this afternoon’s session, the four companies will table their offers to the unions.

The presentation is available on the gold wage negotiations website at:

A fact sheet on the state of the gold mining sector may be downloaded at:


Charmane Russell, +27 (0)11 880 3924 or +27 (0)82 372 5816, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Memory Johnstone, +27 (0)11 880 3924 or +27 (0)82 719 3081, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


AngloGold Ashanti [logo]
Sibanye-Stillwater [logo]
Harmony [logo]
Village Main reef [logo]
For more information, contact:

Motsamai Motlhamme
Minerals Council South Africa
+27 (0)11 498 7400 or
+27 (0)82 202 6734

Charmane Russell
+27 (0)11 880 3924 or
+27 (0)82 372 5816

Memory Johnstone
+27 (0)11 880 3924 or
+27 (0)82 719 3081