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Industry sheds jobs but sees an increase in salaries paid

The Minerals Council South Africa has published its annual comprehensive collection of industry information in the Facts and Figures 2020 Book.

Notwithstanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, including the lockdown on the industry and the economy from March 2020, the mining industry:

  • Contributed R371.9 billion to GDP (2019: R376.4 billion)
  • Employed 452,866 people (2019: 462,039)
  • Paid employees R151.7 billion (2019: R144.4 billion) and contributed R26.2
  • billion (2019: R22.7 billion) to PAYE on behalf of employees
  • Paid R34.7 billion in value added taxes (2019: R36.9 billion) and R11.8 billion in royalties (2019: R8.6 billion)
  • Saw primary mineral sales amounting to R609.8 billion (2019: R552.4 billion)
  • Exported R450.6 billion worth of minerals (2019: R361.7 billion)

Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter commented:

“The negative impact on mining was lighter than that compared to many other parts of the economy due to the excellent cooperation and collaboration between the industry and government in getting the sector safely back to work as quickly as possible.”

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, exports declined by 55% within three months from January 2020, and then took just one month to recover. While the mining houses raked in the profits, safety levels regressed. The year 2019 had been the safest on record, however, the industry observed a “disappointing regression” in 2020 with 60 fatalities, compared to 51 in 2019. The figure represents an increase of 18% in fatalities year-on-year.

Many mining companies recorded increased revenues and profits, thanks to higher commodity prices and a weaker Rand.

“The full year 2020 employee numbers are 452 866, which is 9 172 jobs less than the average during 2019, or 2% lower,” reveals the data.

Prices were 17% higher in January 2020 compared to nine years earlier, after a recovery from the global financial crisis.

While fewer people were employed in the sector, compensation for employees increased by around 5% from two years previously, with R151.7 billion paid to employees overall, up from R144.4 billion in 2019.

“The negative impact on mining was lighter than that compared to many other parts of the economy due to the excellent cooperation and collaboration between the industry and government in getting the sector safely back to work as quickly as possible,” said the Council’s Chief Executive Roger Baxter.

“Many mining companies recorded increased revenues and profits, thanks to higher commodity prices and a weaker rand.”

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