Johannesburg - Wage talks to resolve a strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine should not be rushed, the Commission for Conciliation, Arbitration and Mediation (CCMA) said on Monday.
Director Nerine Kahn said the public needed to understand that the process was complex.
“The parties are still involved in negotiations around the offer that was tabled by Lonmin,” she said.
The CCMA had told Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel that it was still committed to mediating the negotiations.
This was after Manuel reportedly raised his concerns about the Marikana labour dispute at a Deloitte annual partner meeting in Durban over the weekend.
The CCMA quoted Manuel as saying: “I am quite concerned when an institution like the CCMA that has been attempting to convene the negotiations gives in. Because there is nothing beyond the CCMA when we have a crisis like that.”
Earlier on Monday, negotiators for striking Lonmin workers were confident that a deal was in sight to end a six-week strike at the mine.
“We have been mandated to negotiate on a specific figure. The workers are not married to the R12,500,” said Jo Seoka, president of the SA Council of Churches.
He could not disclose the figure before it was tabled at the negotiation meeting scheduled to resume at 3.30pm.
“We hope the news will be better than this tomorrow (Tuesday),” he said, adding that should an agreement be reached, the workers would return to work on Tuesday.
Workers have previously demanded an increase to R12,500.
He explained that negotiators obtained a permit to hold a meeting at the Wonderkop stadium on condition that the meeting took an hour.
Another condition was that it not be held near the koppie where workers had waited in the weeks previously and which was the vicinity of a clash with police which left 34 people dead.
The workers dispersed peacefully after their meeting.
Police maintained high visibility near the stadium.
Seoka was speaking to reporters after earlier asking them to leave the stadium so that workers could talk privately about the pay negotiations.
He is involved in facilitating the talks, in conjunction with the CCMA and the company. - Sapa