No moratorium on looming mine job cuts

Minister Ramatlhodi says government will instead work to create other employment opportunities.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A jobs task team set up by the Department of Mineral Resources says it has not been able to secure a moratorium on retrenchments, but the government has agreed to step in and create opportunities for workers whose jobs are at risk.

The task team is made up of stakeholders from mining companies, unions and the government, and on Monday a ten-point agreement on how to manage the looming job cuts was signed.

Instead of a moratorium the task team has agreed to re-skill the workforce and set up a development fund.

Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says they've accepted that all mining jobs won't be saved, but they need to do as much as possible to ensure mine workers can fill different positions.

"That's why other measures kick in, such as what has been referred to as government beginning to contribute to retraining and reskilling," he said.

Ramatlhodi says around 11,700 workers face possible retrenchment.

"We would want to deal with this number as effectively as we can."

The stakeholders have also agreed to extend the consultation period to minimise retrenchments by 30 days after notice has already been served.