The South African Chamber of Mines has released its annual fact book, providing detailed information on the country’s mining sector – including how much mine workers were paid in 2017.
South Africa’s mining sector experienced a difficult period in 2017, with a deep chasm forged between mining companies and the national government by the controversial mining charter proposed by former mineral resources minister Mosebezi Zwane.
However, with the rise of Cyril Ramaphosa to the office of the president, along with a cabinet reshuffle that placed former ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the head of the mineral resources department, things between the two parties have taken a more positive turn, though tensions remain.
However, the latest data from Stats SA shows that the sector as a whole has entered into recession, with Q1 2018 GDP data showing that it has declined for its second quarter in a row.
According to Stats SA’s data, production was down 9.9% in the first quarter of 2018, following a decline of 4.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Lower production in gold, platinum group metals and iron ore were the main contributors to falling performance, the stats body said.
How much miners earn
According to the SA Chamber of Mines’ data, the mining sector directly employs 464,667 workers, who earn a total of R126 billion – averaging out to R271,100 per worker.
While South Africa is perhaps best known as a gold mining country, platinum (PGM) mining is much bigger than gold – while coal mines bring in the most money.
In the latest stats book from the chamber, platinum mines were the highest employer, with 175,770 people working in the sector. This is followed by gold mining, coal mining and diamond mining.
Despite employing the least workers across these four major sectors, diamond miners, on average, are the highest paid, earning just under R24,000 a month.
This is followed by platinum miners, coal miners and then gold miners, who are all close together between R22,200 and R22,800 a month.
The table below outlines how workers in these mining sectors are paid.
|Mining group||Total employed||Total paid||Average annual||Average monthly|
|Diamond||18 227||R5.2 billion||R285 290||R23 775|
|Platinum||175 770||R48.0 billion||R273 080||R22 760|
|Coal||81 962||R22.0 billion||R268 420||R22 370|
|Gold||112 200||R29.9 billion||R266 490||R22 210|