S.Africa gold workers to return after bonus spat

Fri Nov 2, 2012 1:51pm GMT

By Agnieszka Flak

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Striking miners at AngloGold Ashanti will return to work on Sunday at two mines where operations were suspended this week in a dispute over bonus payments, the world's third largest bullion producer said.

The disruptions underscored the residual tensions between management and staff despite the official resolution of the worst industrial unrest in the mining sector since the end of apartheid almost two decades ago.

Sit-in protests at the company's TauTona and Mponeng mines, 65 km (40 miles) west of Johannesburg, had been resolved and it was now ramping up to full production at all of its other South African mines following weeks of wildcat stoppages.

"Work at both mines is expected to resume as normal at the night shift on Sunday," the company said on Friday.

In the last three months, more than 80,000 miners have downed tools in platinum and gold mines, hitting growth in Africa's biggest economy and exposing President Jacob Zuma and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to heavy criticism for failing to manage labour relations.

More than 50 people have died - most of them shot dead by police - and the unrest is taking its toll on South Africa's reputation as an investment destination.

Standard & Poor's and Moody's have both lowered South Africa's credit rating, citing a lack of political leadership and rising pressure on the government to throw money at the social problems spilling out of the mines.


Mineworkers take part in a march outside the Anglo American mine in South Africa's North West Province, September 12, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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