Johannesburg - Seventy-five percent of employees at the
Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg will not be retrenched, trade union
Solidarity said on Wednesday.
The union welcomed the announcement of mining group Aquarius
Platinum [JSE:AQP] that the estimated 1 500 employees who worked at the number
four shaft, which was shut down earlier this month, would be employed with
other mining groups.
"Aquarius Platinum, the owner of the shaft in question,
and Murray & Roberts, the principal mining contractor who managed the
labour-related aspects of the business, agreed to end their contract,"
spokesperson Louis Pretorius said.
In a statement he said the mining group managed the process
through a comprehensive social plan and it assisted employees in applying for
jobs at other mining groups.
"Aquarius will be the owner and operator of its mines
from now on. The employees who were formerly in the employ of Murray &
Roberts at Aquarius Platinum's number four shaft will be transferred to
Aquarius and deployed at other mining groups, in a process that is in keeping
with section 197 of the Labour Relations Act."
Pretorius said the trade union was hoping for an equally
positive outcome at the Aquarius's Everest mine near Mashishing (Lydenburg)
which had also closed.
The union was concerned over Aquarius CEO Stuart Murray's
call on other mining groups to also close down mines, in order to "cut
unnecessary production which depresses the industry".
Pretorius said the closure of more platinum mines would lead
to further job losses.
"Shutting down other platinum mines will not
necessarily have a favourable outcome, as in Marikana's case.
"Care and maintenance crews may stay on at the mines
following their closure, but the rest of the employees would lose their