Sibanye to lay off 2 000 miners - NUM

Cape Town - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Tuesday afternoon that 2 000 of its members had received "forced retrenchments termination letters" from Sibanye-Stillwater's Cooke Gold mine.

The mine, located south-west of Johannesburg, has three vertical shafts, which are referred to as Cooke 1 to 3. In a media release NUM said workers at all three shafts received termination letters. 

A spokesperson for Sibanye-Stillwater said the information was correct. 

"Following a 90 day consultation process with the unions under the auspices of the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration), we have had to place the Cooke operations under care and maintenance," he said. 

NUM said it would be holding a mass meeting on Wednesday morning at the mine. 

"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 media release. "More than 2000 workers who received the termination letters will attend the mass meeting".

In early August, Sibanye had announced plans to lay off thousands of workers as part of a restructuring plan. 

“The long-term sustainability of the group as a whole is our primary focus and is necessary if we are to continue to deliver superior value to all of our stakeholders," said Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman.

“The losses experienced at the Beatrix West and Cooke operations threaten the future of other group operations and the employment of many other South Africans."

 Update: This article was updated on October 31 at 18:40 to reflect Sibanye-Stillwater's response. 

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