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July 24, 2017

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South Africa's platinum strike talks to resume after deadlock

JOHANNESBURG--South Africa's platinum producers and a union are due to resume talks on Monday in an effort to stop a four-month-long strike that has wreaked havoc in the sector.

"Discussions will continue today (Monday)," said a spokeswoman for three top producers Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.

Last Friday the employers said three-day talks mediated by the Labour Court had produced "no agreement" yet.

Around 80,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) downed tools on Jan. 23 demanding more than double the entry-level wage.

Workers want a 12,500-rand (US$1,200) basic monthly salary before benefits, but employers are offering that as part of a total package and only from 2017.

The Labour Court stepped in after government and independent mediators failed to break the deadlock.

AMCU said last week it was "positive" about the new negotiations.

Meanwhile at least five people have been killed amid intimidation of workers who returned to the job in the restive Rustenburg platinum belt northwest of Johannesburg.

Destitute workers who have gone without pay for months have been receiving food parcels from local aid groups during one of the country's longest-ever strikes.

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