Government to engage Sibanye on possible job cuts

The Department of Mineral Resources will engage Sibanye-Stillwater on its announcement of possible retrenchments at two of its gold operations.

“The department will engage with stakeholders in line with Section 52 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), which requires that the company explore all possible options to ensure as many jobs as possible are saved during the restructuring,” it said on Thursday.

The mining company on Thursday announced possible retrenchments at its Beatrix and Driefontein (shafts 2, 6, 7, 8) operations located in the Free State and Gauteng provinces respectively.

In its announcement, the company said there is a possible restructuring of its gold operations and associated services, pursuant to ongoing financial losses experienced at both operations last year.

In its statement, the company said the consultation process followed on numerous initiatives to contain losses at these operations, which have proven to be unsuccessful. The job cuts could impact a total of 6 670 people, made up of 5 870 employees and 800 contractors.

“The Minister [Mantashe] remains committed to continuous engagement with stakeholders in the industry, in line with commitments by stakeholders in the Mining Leadership Compact,” said the department.

Meanwhile, Sibanye Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman said the potential restructuring process is never taken lightly.

“Contemplating potential restructuring of this nature is never taken lightly and we are aware of the possible impact on many of our colleagues. 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,” said Froneman.

Last November, workers at three of the company’s gold mining operations downed tools after it was reported that the mine signed a deal with unions including Solidarity.

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