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Mining minister concerned about job cuts

May 12 2015 14:04

Cape Town – Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi has expressed concerns at the rate of retrenchments in the mining industry.

“The cumulative retrenchments we’ve seen are a great worry for us as the regulator of the mining industry. We need bold leadership from all in the industry at this time, in order to decisively tackle this matter,” the minister said in a media statement.

Ramatlhodi said the retrenchments will add to several other challenges facing the country.

“Notwithstanding the difficulties faced by the industry currently, the impact of retrenchments on the economy - when we are already grappling with the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality - will have an adverse impact on the country’s socio-economic development objectives,” he said.

Cost-cutting

On May 7 2015, platinum producer, Lonmin [JSE:LON], announced its aim to cut 3 500 jobs at its mines in SA. Its cost-cutting strategy comes against a backdrop of low platinum prices.

Lonmin said it hopes it can achieve this through a voluntary process, with forced job cuts a last resort.

"The mining industry is going through another challenging economic cycle and we need to make difficult decisions to maintain the resilience of our business and protect employment," Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said in a statement.

"Nobody wants this, but we all have to protect the future of the business for as many employees as possible."

Ramatlhodi said he plans to raise the matter for urgent discussion at the upcoming meeting of the Mining Industry Growth Development and Employment Task Team (Migdett) principals on Thursday.

Chaired by the minister, Migdett comprises the leadership of the Chamber of Mines, the South African Mining Development Association (Samda) as well as trade unions – NUM (National Union of Mineworkers), Amcu (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union), Uasa (United Association of SA) and Solidarity.

lonmin  |  ben magara  |  ngoako ramatlhodi  |  mining
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