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Published: Tuesday June 3, 2014 MYT 7:35:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday June 3, 2014 MYT 7:36:17 PM

Striking South African mine union considers government wage proposal

Lonmin workers on strike listen to President of South Africa's Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa (not in picture) as he delivers his speech at the Wonderkop stadium in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lonmin workers on strike listen to President of South Africa's Association of Mine workers and Construction Union (AMCU) Joseph Mathunjwa (not in picture) as he delivers his speech at the Wonderkop stadium in Nkaneng township outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is considering a government proposal to resolve a five-month platinum strike and will table it to its members this week, union president Joseph Mathunjwa said on Tuesday.

"We have responded to the minister's proposal," Mathunjwa told Reuters. He did not give details of the recommendations put forward last week by new mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, or AMCU's response.

However, he said he was encouraged by Ramatlhodi's stepping in during his first week in office between AMCU and the three main platinum houses - Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin.

"For the first time we have someone who is willing to help," Mathunjwa said. "On his first day in office he set aside everything and dealt with this matter. We are encouraged by this."

Numerous rounds of talks to end what is already the most costly strike in South African mining history have fallen apart.

The labour court is currently mediating and Ramatlhodi, who was sworn in as a minister a week ago, has assembled a dedicated government team to negotiate a solution.

(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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