gloria coal mine

Image credit: Envato Elements

Just in: Sibanye-Stillwater threatens to cut more than 6 000 jobs

Looming job losses at Sibanye-Stillwater threaten the economy.

gloria coal mine

Image credit: Envato Elements

Gold producer, Sibanye-Stillwater has revealed that significant losses in 2018 will threaten an estimated 6 000 jobs from a few of its shafts.

The news comes in the same week that Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released the quarterly labour force survey for the fourth quarter of 2018.

The results from Q4 saw the unemployment rate drop to 27.1% from 27.5%. The gold producer has called for a restructuring of gold mine operations and that could come at the cost of labour.

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Sending that many workers into unemployment also threatens to put a strain on the economy.

Motive behind Sibanye-Stillwater mass retrenchment plans

According to the company’s statement, it has begun a consultation process with its stakeholders to determine the nature of this restructuring process and what the casualties in that will be.

The decision was brought by the continued losses at the Beatrix 1 and four Driefontein shafts.

“Sibanye-Stillwater management has consistently highlighted the operational and financial risks associated with the underperformance of these shafts at future forum meetings, which have been held regularly with stakeholders (including the unions),” the statement read.

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The volatile gold industry, coupled with a bloated work force of over 61 000 employees, has placed a strain on operations at Sibanye-Stillwater.

Job losses threaten economy

South Africa’s economy will feel this the most should mass retrenchments get the greenlight at the gold producer.

“Our best attempts to address the ongoing losses at these operations have however been unsuccessful and sustaining these losses may threaten the viability of our other operations,” Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman said

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This news comes a day after the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) took to the streets in eight provinces, calling on the government to protect jobs.

Moreover, a month ago, more than 12 000 mine workers from the gold producer had threatened to down tools, calling for salary increases.