Cape Town – Labour and mining firms will have to reach a final agreement on Monday to end the prolonged platinum wage dispute.

The mineral resources department has been negotiating with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and Lonmin [JSE:LON], Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] and Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS].

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi set up an inter-governmental technical team to help end the crippling five-month strike.

On Friday he said that negotiations had entered a sensitive stage, but on Saturday he threatened to ditch the process if an agreement was not reached.

“I am pulling out on Monday if they do not find each other,” said Ramatlhodi, according to Sapa.

“If they do not find each other I wish them and South Africa luck.”

Amcu members have been on strike since since January 23 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

The strike, which is already dragging the economy down, has been tainted by deaths and is also impacting on the livelihoods of communities in the platinum belt.

On Sunday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said there is concern over alleged involvement by the Economic Freedom Fighters and white foreign nationals in the platinum strike.

He said the ministry of mineral resources has been cautioned to handle the facilitation with care.