Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe today again called on Impala Platinum (Implats) to come to the table to discuss an approach of saving massive job cuts at its operations, reiterating that his department was not fighting with the industry.
“The day before yesterday, we had a meeting with the mining industry. We had 35 CEOs and senior executives under one roof where we were actually beginning to debate and discuss the future of the industry,” Mantashe said.
“It was curious for me that Impala was not part of that meeting. And then when they released this information yesterday, it became clear to me that they are walking to the opposite direction of the industry, and therefore, that conflict is a self-manufactured conflict by Impala Platinum because any serious company in the industry was in that meeting.”
Mantashe was briefing the media following an announcement by Implats that it will retrench 13 000 workers, mostly in Rustenburg, as part of its restructuring programme for continued viability.
Implats announced on Thursday that it was slashing the number of its mines from eleven to six and cutting its future production to 520 000 ounces of platinum as it would reduce the head count from around 40 000 of employees plus contractors to 27 000 workers.
Mantashe said that he had previously held discussions with Impala regarding section 52 notices, adding that he told the company to look at alternatives for its workers and only consider issuing section 189 retrenchment notices as a last resort.
– African News Agency (ANA)