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NUM concerned about retrenchments at South Deep mine

NUM is worried about Gold Fields’ decision to retrench more than 1 500 mineworkers at its operation in South Deep, west of Johannesburg.

A statement from the labour union reads:

“The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is worried about the continuing trend of mining companies retrenching mineworkers in South Africa.

This is a bloodbath of job losses in the mining industry.

Mineworkers have become the sacrificial lamb in the name of profit. We hope the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), as the regulator of the mining industry, will promptly intervene.

The NUM agrees with the DMR Minister Gwede Mantashe’s assertion that there is a growing trend where companies no longer engage stakeholders on their restructuring plans, but only brief us as a mere formality or a tick-box exercise.

The NUM is concerned that when mining companies issue Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act they do not align it with Section 52 of the MPRDA 2002, which states the following:”

“The holder of a mining right must, after consultation with any registered trade union or affected employees or their nominated representatives where there is no such trade union, notify the Minister in the prescribed manner- (a) where prevailing economic conditions cause the profit to revenue ratio of the relevant mine to be less than six percent on average for a continuous period of 12 months; or (b) if any mining operation is to be scaled down or to cease with the possible effect that 10 percent or more of the labour force or more than 500 employees, whichever is the lesser, are likely to be retrenched in any 12-month period.”