Efforts to end a rash of gold mine strikes that have strangled production at South African mines have reached an impasse, mine owners said Monday, with no further talks planned.
In last-gasp talks, unions reported that a negotiated wage offer was met with scepticism by striking miners, leading the Chamber of Mines to declare "it is not in a position to make any further proposals."
The announcement could spell the end of an effort to deal with a spate of labour unrest through a centralised bargaining process.
"The individual companies, will now explore other avenues to try to bring normality to the gold mining industry," a Chamber of Mines statement said.
Workers indicated Thursday they could not get behind a deal negotiated between the National Union of Minerworkers and the Chamber, saying it was not up to their demand of roughly 12,500 rand ($1,430) per month wages.
The latest offer would have seen monthly wages and bonuses go up to between 7,000 and 10,000 rand.
Tens of thousands of gold workers have been on strike for more than a month in South Africa's mines, most of them located near the commercial hub of Johannesburg.
The often violent strikes have strangled production in the country, which accounts for around seven percent of global output.
The unrest has been marked by workers' rejection of union leadership, especially the NUM, which is allied to the ruling African National Congress (ANC).© ANP/AFP