South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (Num) said on Wednesday that its members would strike from Thursday at the Grootegeluk and Leeuwpan coal mines operated by Exxaro Resources.
A protracted strike could have implications for the supply of coal to state-run power producer Eskom.
The Grootegeluk mine produces 26 million tonnes of coal per year, the bulk of which goes directly to Eskom’s Matimba and Medupi power stations. Leeuwpan produces 3.65 million tonnes of thermal coal per year.
William Mabapa, Num deputy general secretary, said more than 1 500 Num members would down tools at Grootegeluk, and around 300 at Leeuwpan – about half of the workforce at each mine, according to figures provided on Exxaro’s website.
Mabapa said Num was seeking a 10% wage hike across the board against an offer of 6.5% from Exxaro. Inflation is currently running at 4.6%.
Exxaro could not immediately be reached for comment.