ANC fuming over Amplats job cuts

2013-01-16 08:04

Johannesburg - Global platinum miner Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] wanted to divert its business from South Africa and send the country's mining industry "to the dogs", the ANC said on Wednesday. 

"The ANC condemns the action taken by Anglo American Platinum Limited who have exploited and then mercilessly created conditions to eliminate 14 000 jobs of which 13 000 are in the Rustenburg area," said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu. 

The company warned on Monday that it would axe 14 000 jobs in a major restructuring of its operations. 

The party called the decision "cynical and dangerous in the extreme". 

Minister of Minerals and Energy Susan Shabangu should call an urgent industry meeting to have companies who wanted to mothball mine shafts surrender their licences. 

"Such licences can be put on a public auction for new owners who are still hungry to mine, to put them to good use."


  • karen.gerhardi - 2013-01-16 08:19

    Not sure why the Government is so upset. They want to nationalise the mines, so why not take these shafts and prove they don't have a clue.

      ray.priestley.79 - 2013-01-16 08:41

      Great idea-especially if Anglo strips out all their equipment before they go.

      werner.nel.984786 - 2013-01-16 08:44

      They make it impossible for business to survive and when you close the are "fuming" Our company is not nearly as big, but because of the wide spread corruption on construction tenders in Limpopo we have no chance of getting any more government tenders. Guess what, our staff started the year with retrenchments. In total about 125 jobs have been lost(mostly black people) Viva cANCer viva

      henk63 - 2013-01-16 09:04

      Auction off licences of marginal mines (under effective management) to those "hungry for mining"( useless management) and expect a profit? I smell a rat. Anyone who sits with a useless mine will get paid huge amounts of money when the mines are nationalized, so the owners will walk out stinking rich! The deviousness of the ANC knows no bounds. I think this was all orchestrated even before the miners went on strike. The only planning the ANC is good at is underhanded crookery; they cannot create anything, they just rape and plunder whatever they can find.

      p.borchard - 2013-01-16 09:12

      Linds, the "poor migrant workers" made the choice to take the jobs on the mines, with everything that goes with it. Where do you think 99% of the coal and other mining produce is currently ending up, with the great gratitude of the anc? CHINA. How many jobs were lost at Aurora mine? How many millions did that Fat Snail Zuma squirrel away by stripping the mine and selling off everything to the Chinese? How many thousands of workers did'nt get paid, but that is just hunky dory - as long as it is a anc insider that can score out of it, there is nothing wrong in the eyes of the unions and the anc big boys. - 2013-01-16 09:19

      They don't want to nationalise the mines... that was Julius and he is no longer part of the anc.

      hein.boucher - 2013-01-16 09:22

      @linds.ronhouse: The minerals left the country? Well, yes. If you knew anything about mining (or business), you would know that, before you can start mining, you need to secure contracts with clients to buy the metal that you plan on producing; as SA does not have the infrastructure or capabilities to do anything siginficant with refined PGE metal, yes, it needs to leave the country and go to another one that CAN do something with it. And taxes and royalties are paid to the government with sales. And diseases? Kids born with disabilities? Please share your amazing sources of information.

      adrien.mcguire - 2013-01-16 09:24

      The problem here is that the Government creates the poor business environment, along with the unions...... but then don't like the consequences. Labour is an issue of supply and demand and cost. When you have 40% unemployment, the country should be benefitting from the less expensive labour. In this country , we make labour so expensive companies just find ways to reduce the labour force even more. The unions are not doing the county any favours with their militant behaviour and encouragement to destroy property , in order to get their wishes. If the unions were to act ethically they would be as equally interested in the unemployed as they are in their members.

      magatikele.magatikele - 2013-01-16 09:34

      I agree with you. Now is the right time for the ANC to show true leadership. Now is the time for the party to teach its members how to behave and to respect their jobs.

      brian.connell.18 - 2013-01-16 09:56

      Do yourselves a favour and read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. Written some time ago, the story is now proving to be an incredibly accurate prediction of business refusing to be subjugated by governments.

      adrien.mcguire - 2013-01-16 10:29

      @ Brian I read Atlas Shrugged many many years ago. Thank you for the reminder . If one doesn't have time to read the book, Wkipedia has a very good synopsis......... worth a quick read !

      tshepo.sebiloane - 2013-01-16 11:39

      Business is business and the government must understand that. No business owner is prepared to run a loss making enterprise. To show that the government is clueless they can't even takeover the closed shafts and reinstate the jobs because they don't have the know how to run a mine.

      TheunisNaude - 2013-01-16 13:43

      What did they expext would happen with the all the labour unrest and unrealistic increases? "R15 000 is a reality!"...yes Malema, and all those without brains, but also job losses due to unprofitable business. Aim of a business = making money. Getting a decent return. If not, close the business and start something else. Business practise does not have the same goals as the salvation army!!!

  • wynandjsmit - 2013-01-16 08:22

    Siestog, arme ANC verstaan geen kop of stert van "Besigheid" nie. Nou slaan die "blinde sambok" hulle.

      amanda.victor.92 - 2013-01-16 10:21

      Ja jong. Who would have thought that strike action and raised salaries would affect profits?

  • patrick.mbense - 2013-01-16 08:27

    Thats what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you!! You uneducated idiots! Susan Shabangu to come on live TV and make comments like she did, when she has no clue what she is talking about is disastourous for foreign investors!! Wake up ANC, you crippling this country!!!

  • gjfnicholson - 2013-01-16 08:29

    Honestly? ANC are worse than school kids... Acting like school girls.

  • erich.vonstalhein.14 - 2013-01-16 08:29

    Er, rather should read, "amplats and the rest of the mining industry condemn the action taken by the ANC who have exploited and then mercilessly created conditions to eliminate 14 000 jobs"

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2013-01-16 08:32

    Just wait until farmers also starts to lay off workers and mechanise their farms. Wonder what these dogs would have to say then? Where is our bone?

      Erna - 2013-01-16 08:52

      Malema can always employ the farm workers.

      Graham.Cooper2 - 2013-01-16 08:58

      Farmers must mechanise now dont get caught with your pants down.

      neiljvv - 2013-01-16 10:32

      No more unions in SA then. They won't be able to feed of the working class anymore.

  • michael.tetley.35 - 2013-01-16 08:34

    This is a consequence of government interfering with, instead of facilitating business, investment and the resultant job creation. Investors will move their investments to where they can generate the best return for shareholders who risk their capital. The more difficult they make things with their unreasonable demands and over-regulation of markets, the easier the decision to move them somewhere they are welcomed.

  • rontheogre - 2013-01-16 08:34

    It is not as if the government had no forewarning. Anglo has been in consultation with government since June last year regarding the viability of certain mines. The strikes just gave more momentum to the situation. By now being surprised and enraged is just being two faced. I suppose it is inevitable where the government strings are pulled by labour unions.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-16 09:48

      Everyone's focusing on the 14 000. Meanwhile Anglo will continue to employ 45 000. They are closing non-viable shafts, not their entire business

      ntebu.mthi - 2013-01-16 12:13

      True that. We just have government just in name. The only good they do is to keep themselves in power.

      linda.duits - 2013-01-16 14:53

      True Ronald, they were warned but some just close their eyes and hope it will go away.It's not only 14000 jobs that are being lost it's a wider repercussion, outside suppliers and vendors, community.

  • heinrich.nel.35 - 2013-01-16 08:37

    Cynical and dangerous for who exactly? Perhaps a lesson in basic business is necesary. . . Total Return = R20 Total Cost = R10 (Fixed cost) + R2x (Variable cost) Total Profit (assuming Maximum Labour (Variable cost) is employed while remaining profitable) = TR - TC = 20 - 10 - 2(4)= R2 Consequently, should wages go up to say R4 with number of employees constant (x): Total loss = TR - TC = 20 - 10 - 4(4) = 20 - 26 = -R6 -R6 = a good enough reason to close up shop and get the heck out of RSA Seeing as the ANC is now infuriated because the big bad mining giant won't play with them anymore, I am intrigued as to what their next move will be. What is it going to be? Empty threats? Begging? Another strike perhaps? Or maybe even a sanction against everything that uses platinum in its production/end product? Geuss its back to horses and donkey carts seeing as automobiles are effectively nullified

      Blackpoison - 2013-01-16 09:03

      They all ready begun striking...

      patsy.smith.125 - 2013-01-16 10:59

      Most people can't afford the petrol and all the tolls etc., etc., etc. Hay and oats can only be cheaper..... Our present g/ment will probably be known in the future as the 'Era of the Looters'.

  • george.larkins.14 - 2013-01-16 08:40

    You dont mess with the big guns.They feel zero for a CORRUPT ANC and Unions.We all knew this were going to happen.Shows you how out of feel this PATHETIC Goverment is.

  • altusvanzyl - 2013-01-16 08:43

    Now what did they expect?

  • glenda.gert - 2013-01-16 08:47

    Minister of Minerals and Energy Susan Shabangu should call an urgent industry meeting to have companies who wanted to mothball mine shafts surrender their licences. "Such licences can be put on a public auction for new owners who are still hungry to mine, to put them to good use." Great they milked our Mineral resources for a long time under slavery conditions...they are so used to profit they can't even see when they are abusing workers

      Erna - 2013-01-16 08:57

      Yes then the Chinese, or Khulubuse Zuma, can buy the licences. The Chinese work under worse conditions and minimum salaries, and zuma, well we all know what happened to Aurora.

      clive.pops.5 - 2013-01-16 09:04

      So, do you suggest they should have left the minerals in the ground? Or mined at a loss? You don't work, do you?

      deon.louw.7505 - 2013-01-16 09:05

      The ANC or theire friends can't do any better, Aurora has proved it. Maybe Cosatu can buy a mine or 4?

  • Erna - 2013-01-16 08:51

    And yet they still haven't said anything about Aurora. Makes you think.

  • phillys.winterbottom - 2013-01-16 08:51

    The ANC criminal organization and their hopelessly inept government has treated the private sector in this country shabbily to say the least.Stupid outdated commie rhetoric about monopolistic capital and and militant unions plus ridiculous labor laws has done nothing to make big international businesses who are the major employers in this country comfortable so they will take their business elsewhere!!! If this useless ANC government have a supplier that is inefficient, they just don't use them anymore and get another one!!! whats the difference? Only when these commie brain donors realize that businesses in this country are the richest source of employment (and therefore stability) and look after them as if they were a customer will they begin to reap the rewards of labor stability. All the chickens are now coming home to roost: high power costs, expensive labor, crumbling infrastructure, crime out of control..... the list goes on and on. Why would you want to have a business here?

  • ian.robertreid - 2013-01-16 08:52

    Interesting lets wait and c??

  • ally.murdoch.jago - 2013-01-16 08:53

    What is most amazing about this is that the ANC was to dumb to see this coming? There were unprecedented, ridiculous and illegal strikes which cost the mining industry a fortune - this is the obvious, sensible response for a business and one which the mines ironically warned the 'government' would happen?!

      ntebu.mthi - 2013-01-16 12:29

      Even befor that! the platinum price plummeted and the cost of production was sky rocketing. Where was the Minister then to engage mining houses on the looming losses since everyone knows the consequences of such? uyisiduphunga lo Susaninyana wakhona (means out of deapth)

  • wehan.victor - 2013-01-16 08:54

    Why is the ANC not upset that our manufacturing industries have "gone to the dogs"? I bought an ice cream the other day, and guess what, made in China.

  • Roche Enslin - 2013-01-16 08:55

    If the mine workers were educated (ANC failure) they would understand basic economics. If the company pays you more (they went on strike for more money and got it) and you don't produce more to deserve the money the company margins get squeezed, profits drop and marginal business are closed or sold and more jobs are lost. its the way the world works, they are not victimizing just youn if you strike further more of you will loose your jobs. Stop being idiots. government will now have less revenue and spend less and the whole country will be poorer. lets all strike so we can go back to the 1900.

      justin.ducie - 2013-01-16 09:52

      If they were eductaed they wouldn't be miner workers!

  • susan.pretorius.31 - 2013-01-16 08:55

    This is what happens if the president worries more about people critisizing bafana, businesses paying bribes, dog owners,etc etc than he does about the economy being destroyed.

  • kseyffert - 2013-01-16 08:57

    Stupid! Once again the ANC shows how incompetent its "administrators" are. They are closing the mine shafts BECAUSE they are no longer profitable!!! The only way they can be is if you throw away all safety and pay the staff below the minimum that the unions ans ANC insist on! When you squeeze big business, they WILL restructure to MAINTAIN profitability! Bunch of Stupid Morons!!!!

  • Skwertno1 - 2013-01-16 08:58


  • PureProteas - 2013-01-16 08:59

    whats the big deal anc, you are sending the country down the gutter and you want to stuff up the mines and farms with your nationalisation BS anyway, oh and btw I only WISH this country would go to the dogs, cos only our canine friends can do a better job than you

  • - 2013-01-16 09:00

    People who comment here just do so from their rabid dislike of the ANC. Let's look at the facts. Do you really believe that Amplats would actually hire so many people to follow shafts that are 'unproductive'? With all the modern prospecting technologies at hand? No. Its a move to beat the Govenment into submission. To all those who are frothing on the mouth about why investors should be given a free hand,I want to remind you that BHP abandoned the Zimplats mine in Zim citing lack of productivity. Amplats bought the mine and have since started expanding it. BHP just didn't like the Mugabe people then. Not all given reasons are reason enough!

      Michael - 2013-01-16 18:40

      A refreshing comment

  • neil.ross.5473 - 2013-01-16 09:06

    Het cosatu. You've got all this money from your members and your anc buddies have plenty. Why don't you buy the mine? Why don't you run and manage it? Why don't you pay the workers what they demand? Why don't you nationalize that mine and all share in the profits and support the whole community? Come on, put your money where your mouth is. It's what you've always wanted. now have the balls to do it. I dare you.

      linda.duits - 2013-01-16 15:00

      Agree Neil, they want to nationalise the mines then buy the thing and show the guys in mining a thing or two, go on Forrest you can do it.....not!

  • grace.andtruth.77 - 2013-01-16 09:07

    ANC... Its the law of nature! You reap what you sow. This is all your fault!

  • mfumbayelangabi.silwane - 2013-01-16 09:07

    yes,yes ,yes get them to hand over their licences,we need them

  • frederick.carstens - 2013-01-16 09:09

    ...Typical ANC mentality...Listen...its a mine, not Franky's Corner Store. To Mr. Mthembu: In simple explanation which you will hopefully understand: It costs lots of money to run a mine. Money does not grow on trees... If you don't have sufficient turnover to cover your overheads then you make...a loss. 2 - 3 = -1 get it? How on earth can you say its cynical and dangerous in the extreme? Let me tell you something... influencing massess of unskilled miners to strike for two months, subsequently putting not only them, their families, the mine and our economy into a situation that could be catestrophic for everyone invloved... now that is what I would call dangerous in the extreme. What are you gonna do now? Money does not grow on trees...are you gonna put a gun to someone's head and force them to turn paper into bank notes? I think you should go and explain to all 14000 workers and the many still to follow that this could have been avoided...that they would have had a future, had the unions taken a logical approach to matters! Explain to them that its your fault...then see how they feel and react to that? Unfortunately there is no one else to blame in this but the unions and the ANC's influence...

  • ndumiso.gagayi - 2013-01-16 09:09

    Why was the anc not fuming over illegal strikes and the killing of miner? Now they its biting them!! Let's see what the herd boy will do.

  • nhla.prv - 2013-01-16 09:10

    Zim must be smiling seeing that Amplats will open a new USD400m mine there and already sold 51% share to locals USD980m. How the tides turn !

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-16 09:44

      Yep and Zim miners are getting R1200 a month - R40 a day

  • petro.rossouw.94 - 2013-01-16 09:11

    Shame. And they never saw it coming with their support of the exorbitant salary demands of the workers. They obviously have no clue of how business's are run.

  • justin.pretorius - 2013-01-16 09:13

    Mining in SA is pretty much finished anyway. I thought this is exactly what the regime wants, to nationalise? The regime confuses itself so often :)

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-16 09:43

      Yep from 69% GDP in 1994 to just 20% GDP today. If it costs Anglo R100MILLION a year to maintain a shaft that they've closed, imagine what it must cost to keep one open. A Hundred Million - and some here imagine the govt can take them over or that marginal operators can run them.

  • bless.boswell - 2013-01-16 09:13

    If the president didn't want gold cutlery and crystal and gold glassware maybe it would not matter so much.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2013-01-16 09:16

    The sad part is, the ANC does not know how to do damage control.Infact, they are making matters worse with their threats. It seems like that's the only way they know how to negotiate,with threats of violence and strikes. It's as if there are no intelligent people at the top. I hope that's not the case. Someone's got to bring some calm to this madness.

      ntebu.mthi - 2013-01-16 12:48

      The ANC has not adapted fully to its new role, that they are now a governing party in power and not a liberation struggle movement. Threats, blackmails, etc. were strategic tactics before 1994 but not in 2013

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2013-01-16 09:17

    The big mouths within the anc who are fuming about the job cuts, must start putting money into Anglo America and keep on supporting Anglo America finaicially, in order for the 14000 to keep their jobs, if they feel SSSOOO strongly about it. Let's see how long the anc candres and the like's money are going to last with all the strikes. Maybe they can get some lessons from ramaposa.

      johnwilliam.roberts - 2013-01-16 09:44

      i agree with you if they can bail out S A A they can bail out anglo

  • MallyGold - 2013-01-16 09:17

    Susan Shabangu seems to forget all the good that Amplats has done and the profits which SA has enjoyed. She feels justified in condemning them for taking a stand to protect their company against a murderous workforce which is intent on enrichment at all costs. Susan, surely you cannot expect Amplats to pander to the wants of this unruly mob which the ANC have created by making stupid, unrealistic promises. Susan, rather stick to what you do best and leave Amplats to run their company.

  • charles.kubhayi.3 - 2013-01-16 09:19

    It is time now that all businesses whose managers claim not to be making profit to be handed over to government. This is how Nationalization will run, any business that does not make profit must be taken over by government and this action will define the truth from lies because transnationals always claim that they do not make profit therefore they want to retrench while it is not the reality that there is no profit.

      timothy.tanzer.5 - 2013-01-16 10:11

      Like SAA, Transnet and SABC...all making maximum profit there? How about Eskom that is about to rape you and your family for more money when they the tariffs increase? Do you have any idea of how many jobs will be cut by 2018 by the time electricity has doubled in price. No my friend... at the end of the tunnel which is the ANC is only poverty and recession. This Government should stay out of business... they should encourage a good business environment so they can score on tax revenue. But you see the reality is... the more business the government gets to plunder the more money the ANC government officials get. Just wait for this to collapse. People should prepare themselves for some very hard times.. harder than under apartheid or anything this country has ever seen.

  • yolanda.bezuidenhoutfraser - 2013-01-16 09:19

    ANC YOU MADE THIS BED...SLEEP IN IT. Its not Amplats fault that platinum prices fell. Its a global supply demand system...if the demand is declining??? In 2012 these workers violently striked to earn huge salaries... This is not government that uses the peoples money to build private homes the size of disney world...this income is based on demand and the price people is willing to pay for the product. Now let's see if you grasp this...the demand for the product dropped, the workers is getting paid huge salaries and benefits, the cost of electricity is too high, the cost of fuel is huge. Now deduct the expenses from the income. If you can afford it, you restructure and retrench people and close operations. You allowed this to happen by being greedy for your own pocket. You baked this it...your the chef.

  • willem.louw.16 - 2013-01-16 09:20

    Hello, what dis they think will happen. Welcome to reality

  • jaco.human.94 - 2013-01-16 09:24

    Newton's laws of motion form the basis for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between the forces acting on a body and its motion due to those forces. They have been expressed in several different ways over nearly three centuries,[1] and can be summarized as follows: law: When a first body exerts a force F1 on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force F2 = -F1 on the first body. This means that F1 and F2 are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

  • flysouth - 2013-01-16 09:25

    Large scale gold mining will be gone from SA within a decade or less. Platinum will be replaced by alternative materials in it's biggest market, exhaust catalysts, sooner than that. The ANC and it's allies COSATU are ensuring that these industries will remove themselves partially or completely from SA. They have no need to remain here, even with the minerals in the ground. There are other sources where conditions are far more amenable and extraction costs are actually lower than deep-level mining. The response of the ANC government in the attitudes of Shanabgu for example, are totally inappropriate - they as usual are part of the problem and not the solution.

  • cbooyzen - 2013-01-16 09:30

    So lets see , strike for a while get almost what you demand and then a few months later lose your job . Is it just me or can i say i told you so anybody else see this coming?What did they expect run at a loss just to keep jobs?

  • Banele Xaji - 2013-01-16 09:30

    This is obvious, business is trying to intimidate the government. I say take the licenses, let these people go. New investors will come in, R18 Trillion is a lot. Do they really think other players will not take up the opportunity. The exploitation of black workers cannot continue nor is it sustainable whilst they struggle to put food on the table and the apartheid beneficiaries become billionaires!!! No more.

      ndumiso.gagayi - 2013-01-16 09:46

      Ndoda we don't want another Aurora because the new investers will be the corrupt and stupid cdes of the anc

      Sonnyjakes - 2013-01-16 09:54

      timothy.tanzer.5 - 2013-01-16 10:18

      Why not think a little further than what is in front of you... 1. People battle to put food on the table because living expenses are so high (governments fault for poor economic policies) 2. The rest of the world mines with non-labour intensive mining methods... which investors do you think will want that mine after seeing what happened with the strikes? Maybe the Chinese... but they will want to use Chinese miners... because they really do treat their miners like slaves and pay them $1 a day. 3. The apartheid beneficiaries are our ANC government... when a minister can buy a painting for 3.2 million something is wrong... do some background reading on the Harmony BEE deal... your own government sold your people out. Wake up bru... you are being taken for a ride :)

  • Genesistt - 2013-01-16 09:33

    Why are they so upset? It's their own bleeding fault! It's so easy to say "strike!", but they forget that money don't grow on trees and these companies suffered major losses because of damages caused by striking workers. Why should AmPlats throw good money after bad? This year they'll just strike again for even higher wages and next year the same. At some point the cost of keeping the place open is more than to just shut it down and cutting your losses. Maybe the ANC should wake up and start reigning in the unions before more mines close and more jobs are lost.

  • Julia Griffiths - 2013-01-16 09:33

    Did they and MUM & Cosatu not expect this especially with those demands made for salary increases, the same will happen in the farming sector let alone any where else. Secondly increases in food, transport etc will be effected. The same applies to Escom they will destroy the economy just as this government has over the past years with their corrupt practices

  • george.pito - 2013-01-16 09:35

    And the ANC thought it was a gold mine. What did they expect, that everything comes for free like the whole infrastructure of this country were given to them they never realised where it came from.

  • magatikele.magatikele - 2013-01-16 09:41

    i just want to say this to the ruling party. The employees need education regarding the importance of their jobs and how to respect the laws of the country. We are going to see more companies closing down. Speak out if you guys need help and people are willing to assist you.

  • justin.ducie - 2013-01-16 09:48

    Whatever, do you think we don't realise that your plan has always been seize the mining licences of the big mining houses! I will put money on Chancelor House landing some of if not all of these licenses! That should be the ANC motto "you've got it, I want it, I take it"

  • cedrick.martin - 2013-01-16 09:51

    From R6000pm to R12000pm to R0pm happy now striking workers?

  • Eterni80 - 2013-01-16 09:51

    the fine upstanding organization that the ANC is

  • Sonnyjakes - 2013-01-16 09:53

    Seems there are other underlying problems as well:

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