Sibanye saved 3 282 jobs as thousands of miners pack their bags

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman.
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman.
picture supplied

Cape Town - Sibanye-Stillwater [JSE:SGL] preserved employment for 3 282 people and secured over 60 000 jobs in South Africa through its restructuring, according to the miner’s chief executive, Neal Froneman.

After concluding the process, Sibanye announced on Tuesday that in total 3 601 contractors have been displaced. About 2 025 employees will be retrenched and 1 350 have elected to take voluntary separation packages, the miner said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The decision to restructure was not taken lightly, but it is pleasing to note that we have managed to ameliorate job losses through the consultation process,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We preserved employment for 3 282 people, while ensuring the sustainability of our remaining operations and thereby securing over 60 000 jobs in South Africa.”

This followed a formal restructuring process after Sibanye experienced ongoing losses at its Cooke and Beatrix West mines.

Regarding the Beatrix West operation, the miner said this operation will continue to provide employment for about 1 640 people.

“Beatrix West will remain in operation for as long as it makes a profit, on average, over any continuous period of three months, after accounting for all-in sustaining costs,” it said.

“In the event that Beatrix West becomes loss making, both the underground operation and Beatrix 2 Plant will be put on care and maintenance with immediate effect.”

The Cooke operation was not as fortunate.

“Unfortunately it was not possible to define realistic arrangements to operate Cooke 1,2 and 3 on a profitable basis. The underground mining operations at the Cooke 1, 2 and 3 shafts will therefore be placed on care and maintenance with effect from end October 2017,” the firm said.

“The Cooke surface processing plant will continue to operate for as long as there is sufficient feed material for it to be profitable, subject to various cost cutting measures being implemented.

“Through these arrangements, 132 employees will be retained at these operations.

“Sibanye-Stillwater and its stakeholders have secure jobs for an additional 1 510 employees through transfers to available positions within the group and as care and maintenance personnel for the Cooke underground operations.
    
“Approximately 2 025 employees will be retrenched with an additional 1 350 having already elected to take voluntary separation packages.

“An additional 620 employees will replace contractors involved in non-critical activities across the group.”

NUM said it will be holding a mass meeting on Wednesday morning at the mine to discuss the news.

"The company has already instructed workers not to go underground as it is preparing to put the operations on care and maintenance," it said in a statement.

"More than 2 000 workers who received the termination letters will attend the mass meeting".

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