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Amplats to make a decision on job cuts

Amplats will release a report on job cuts next week.

Striking Amplats miners. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American Platinum said on Thursday it will only release its report on its negotiations with government next week after reports on Thursday suggested that the mining giant had come to a decision to lower their proposed 14,000 possible job cuts.

In January, the company announced that up to 14,000 jobs could be affected because of proposed changes to the business.

Labour strikes and wildcat action last year triggered violence that killed over 40 people and led to a credit downgrade for Africa's biggest economy.

Anglo American Platinum, the world's top platinum producer, is battling to restore profits, but its plan to cut back production and mothball two mines near the platinum belt city of Rustenburg have been met with fierce resistance from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and unions.

But the company has spent the past three months in negotiations with government, unions and others involved in the mining and selling of platinum to try come up with solutions.

Reuters reported a decision had been made and that the company may only be cutting 5000 jobs.

But Amplats spokeswoman, Mpumi Sithole said she has no idea where the inaccurate estimate came from, and that their own results of the negotiations would be released soon.

Negotiations were extended for a month at the end of March and Amplats said on Tuesday they had wrapped up the final plan which would be made public next week.

She said, "We have indicated that we would be issuing the details of the report, the consultation that has been happening between government and ourselves. We are still set on announcing from the week commencing from the 6 May."

The ANC-led government is highly sensitive about jobs ahead of elections next year, as this might have a dent in their elections campaign.