Premier concerned by looming Amplats layoffs

NW Premier Thandi Modise called for calm and extensive consultation between Amplats & govt.

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

RUSTENBURG - North West Premier Thandi Modise on Thursday called for calm and extensive consultation between Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and the provincial government over the next three months before planned restructuring goes ahead.

The premier met with Amplats CEO Chris Griffith earlier in the day to discuss the possible retrenchment of 14,000 miners and the divestment of its Union mine.

Modise's spokesperson Lesiba Kgwele said the premier is deeply concerned about the social impact of the restructuring on the province.

"The concern is that we produce 98 percent of the platinum therefore any job loss and conflict in the mining sector affects the North West."

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said government must take over the four shafts that Amplats plans on closing down during its restructuring process.

The union, which represents 26,000 miners at Amplats, said retrenchments were not an option.

Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa said government has an opportunity to save jobs.

"The government must take over those shafts to save jobs."

Mathunjwa also said foreign investors were stealing the benefits of mineral resources from South Africans.

"As long as this economy is run by foreigners, we are far from reaching any solution."

Amcu will hold a mass general meeting in Rustenburg with its members on Friday to discuss the way forward.

On Wednesday, Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu lashed out at Amplats once again.

She said the mining company's restructuring process should have been discussed with government because people's livelihoods were at stake.