Amplats miners refuse to work

Thousands of miners at the Anglo Platinum Khomanani Mine are refusing to work after news of retrenchment.

A picture taken on October 6, 2012 shows workers standing outside the Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of workers have gathered at Anglo Platinum's Khomanani Mine in Rustenburg.

They are refusing to go to work after the mining giant on Tuesday warned that 14,000 jobs could be lost during a major restructuring of the company.

Four shafts including Khomanani will be shut down.

Workers on the nightshift refused to go underground and are now planning a strike.

They said they will bring the company to its knees if it doesn't reconsider.

Meanwhile, The African National Congress (ANC) condemned Amplats' restructuring plans.

The ANC's Jessie Duarte said it goes against the commitment made between the business and the party, to grow the country's economy.

She said they are also concerned about the effect the job losses will have on Rustenburg's economy because the majority of employees live there.

"We are really concerned about the manner in which Amplats have handled and that 13,000 out of the 14,000 jobs are being lost in the Rustenburg area, where there were major issues from Marikana not so long ago."

Anglo Platinum CEO Chris Griffith said while they may have committed to a 50-year lifespan for the mine when their license was renewed in 2010, circumstances have changed drastically.

Griffith said the restructuring couldn't have been predicted.

"Clearly, life has changed. There's been an impact on the industry, there's a whole host of structural and economic changes that have happened, not only in Anglo Platinum."