Amplats operations continue, amid restructuring talks

Amplats says it will be business as usual as it continues to engage with government and workers.

Amplats says it will be business as usual as it continues to engage with government and workers. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) on Friday said operations at its mines would continue while talks with government were underway to discuss the future of the company.

Amplats workers downed tools for over 24 hours this week, when an announcement was made about a restructuring process which could see at least 14, 000 job cuts - 13, 000 of them in the Rustenburg area.

Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu has said the company's notice was an irresponsible move and that government should have been consulted.

The ANC meanwhile has said Amplats' plans are "cynical and dangerous in the extreme.

"When Amplats applied to switch from the old order rights to new order mining rights, they submitted a 50-year plan, which included a social labour plan."

The party's national spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu, in a statement said: "This action by Amplats convinces us that a move to have all the mining licenses reviewed is not misguided. Our country cannot continue to be the hosts of callous extraction of minerals for the sole benefit of profits for external investors with limited beneficiation to our own communities and in particular the complete disregard for the plight of workers is not only a travesty but is a disgrace to the industry."

The mining giant has since agreed to discuss the issue over a period of three months.

Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said in the meantime, it would be business as usual.

"All operations are normal, our employees are at work and everything is on track.

"Engagement and consultation is continuing with employees."