Amplats and Kumba Iron Ore to Retrench Over 4 000 Mine Workers, South Africans Depressed

Amplats and Kumba Iron Ore to Retrench Over 4 000 Mine Workers, South Africans Depressed

  • Amplats and Kumba Iron Ore announced that they would be laying off some of their mine workers
  • Amplats is expected to retrench 3 700 workers while Kumba will allegedly retrench 500, according to NUM
  • South Africans are left in a state of despair as they complain about how damaging the retrenchments will be to the economy

With seven years at Daily Sun and Vutivi Business News, Tebogo Mokwena, a Briefly News journalist, provided coverage of current affairs, shedding light on critical social infrastructure challenges and unemployment. Do you have a hard news story you would like to share? Email with 'CA' in the subject line.

Amplats and Kumba Iron Ore will be laying off more than 4 000 workers
Amplats is going to retrench 3 700 workers. Images: Stephanie De Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images and Sibusiso Msibi/Sowetan/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Kumba KIron Ore and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) will start retrenching some of their workers. Kumba plans to retrench 500 workers while Amplats will be shedding 3 700 jobs.

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Mines to retrench workers

SABC News said this came after StatisticsSA released their latest unemployment rate. The unemployment rate rose to 32.1% from 31.9% in the third quarter. The National Union of Mineworkers revealed that the number exceeds 3 700 workers to be retrenched at Amplats.

The union revealed that 8 000 workers allegedly received section 189a letters from the Labour Relations Act’s section on retrenchment, which means that it is possible that they could be retrenched, too. NUM expressed how concerning these retrenchments are.

SA hit by the announcement

South Africans on Facebook reeled from the announcement of workers getting retrenched.

Kanye Pamba said:

“This is a major blow to the already struggling South African economy, as the mining sector has long been a key contributor to the country’s GDP. The ripple effects of these layoffs are likely to be felt far and wide, impacting not only the individuals directly affected but also the communities and businesses that rely on the mining sector for their livelihoods.”

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Gustav Wilson added:

“Today I visited the Komati town. I was so depressed and sad when I drove back. The poverty and social ills that are to be dealt with after the power plant's closure is catastrophic.”

Hlomani Antonio Nkuna wrote:

“The political instability in our countries is one of the major causes of the job losses, and our so-called politicians don’t care, as long as it doesn’t affect them and their families.”

Zwide ka Nxumalo observed:

"Yet the majority still believe the empty promises of a better life for all.”

James Kanelo added:

“The problem with working for production companies is that when there is a decline in sales, workers are the first people to suffer.”

Bakubung miners stage sit-in for discrimination and retrenchment

In a similar article, Briefly News reported that workers at Bakubung Platinum miners staged a sit-down to address issues like retrenchment and discrimination.

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About 280 employees refused to return from their shifts in December, alleging that the mine wanted to axe 500 people. They also claimed that the time allegedly discriminates against pregnant women.

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Source: Briefly News

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