South Africa's automakers have reached a three-year wage agreement with the union representing 21,000 workers, according to Reuters.

"The deal sets an average pay rise of 7.5%, representing a real wage hike for workers in the vehicle manufacturing industry," The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's (NUMSA) spokesman, Dumisa Ntuli, said in a statement cited by the news agency.

NUMSA had threatened to go on strike after failing to reach an agreement on wage increases with the Automobile Manufacturers Employers Association, the report said.

The union reportedly had demanded a 9% across-the-board increase, while employers offered 6.5%.

"We were able to seal the deal without any conflict for the first time in the history of the industry," Ntuli told Reuters.

The news agency noted that South Africa's automakers have won several contracts for the export market and the unions have traditionally used such multi-billion rand contracts to pressure employers to agree to their demands.