The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (Numsa) Castro Ngobese told CNBC Africa that the union expected to hold its national executive council on Thursday afternoon was still consulting with its 220,000 members.
“We have been engaging with our members just to seek the mandate from them with regards to the latest offer on the table and this afternoon we will receive feedback from our nine regions,” Ngobese said adding that so far no decision had been taken by the union.
Ngobese shrugged off threats from Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) that stated the offer would collapse should Numsa fail to respond by Thursday.
“We are not in the business of chasing deadlines and Seifsa must just relax and wait for us until we communicate formally with them early Friday or latest Saturday afternoon.”
Seifsa reluctantly agreed to the 10 per cent wage offer following the intervention of the labour minister Mildred Oliphant.
Meanwhile Seifsa’s Kaizer Nyatsumba says should the union not accept the offer brokered by the government, the association will indicate way forward next Monday.
(WATCH VIDEO: Numsa members expected to place demands before Seifsa)
While Numsa, Seifsa and another employers association Neasa continue haggling over the wage settlement, South Africa’s economy deeply wounded by the platinum strikes continue to bleed.
The National Employers Association of SA (Neasa) differed with the ministerial mediation saying the offer was out of reach for SMMEs.
“What is particularly disappointing is that the ministerial team proposed a settlement arrangement which may satisfy the trade unions but accelerate job losses in the Metal Industry,” says Neasa chief executive, Gerhard Papenfus.
Earlier in the month ratings agency Moody’s warned that strike by Numsa and fragile investment atmosphere were harmful to the country’s creditworthiness.