Amplats trying to stay afloat, retain jobs

Amplats says its employees and their children are suffering due to the ongoing strike.

Around 80,000 Amcu members downed tools in the platinum sector in January. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) says it is desperately trying to sustain the company and retain jobs during the ongoing strike in the platinum sector.

It's been over two months since around 80,000 members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) downed tools at Amplats, Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin, demanding a basic salary of R12,500 per month.

The strike has resulted in losses of more than R10 billion to date.

Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole not only is the company suffering, but its employees and their children are suffering as well.

"We're looking at ways to lessen the suffering through coming up with initiatives."

The strike in the platinum sector may result in thousands of job losses this year as Amplats struggles to turn a profit.

Last week, Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said the mines in Rustenburg had no chance of being profitable in the next two years and shutting down some shafts had become a real option.

Meanwhile, Amcu members have given Implats bosses until 5 April to respond to their wage demands.

Hundreds of union members marched to the company's headquarters in Illovo last week to hand over a memorandum of demands.