“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,” says Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman, adding that the decision to restructure was not taken lightly.
Through the adoption of productivity enhancement and cost containment measures determined in consultation with stakeholders, 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.
Through these arrangements, Beatrix West will continue to provide employment for approximately 1 640 people. 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.
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 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.
Through the Section 189 consultation process, 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.
An additional 620 employees will replace contractors involved in non-critical activities across the group. In total 3 601 contractors have been displaced.
Despite the company’s efforts to retain as many jobs as possible, approximately 2 025 employees will be retrenched with an additional 1 350 having already elected to take voluntary separation packages.
Sibanye-Stillwater concluded the consultation process with relevant stakeholders regarding the proposed restructuring of its gold operations and associated services pursuant to ongoing losses experienced at its Cooke and Beatrix West operations.
This process was concluded on Wednesday in terms of section 189A of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995, under the auspices of the Committee for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
Feature image credit: Sibanye-Stillwater