JOHANNESBURG, AngloGold Ashanti Limited, one of the world’s leading gold producers, has announced that it is going ahead with the retrenchment of 8,500 miners at three of its mines in South Africa located in Free State Province and Gauteng Province.
The world’s third-largest gold miner earlier announced that it would reduce its South African workforce by a third as some of its mines had reached the end of their economic lives.
After receiving news that the miners would soon be walking the unemployment line — about 4,500 miners at the Kopanang mine in Free State and another 4,000 at the Tautona and Savuka mines in Carletonville on the West Rand in Gauteng — the unions had intervened, but they, too, have little hope of saving the situation.
National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson Khaya Ngaleka said Thursday: “Looking at how they’re doing business, I don’t think they will reverse their decision because of their brutality. But we will do whatever it takes as the NUM to make them not continue with what they are anticipating to do.”
The mining company said in a statement that the situation was untenable. AngloGold Ashanti, which currently employs 28,000 people in the country, said the affected mines had been suffering unsustainable losses, indicating a possible depletion of minerals as they had been operating for decades.
In the past five years, the South African mining industry, a mainstay of the economy, has shed 70,000 jobs, increasing the already high unemployment rate in the country.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK