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Look for other options before retrenching, Mantashe tells mines

This follows Gold Field's announcement on Tuesday morning that it may shed at least 1,500 jobs.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: @GCISMedia/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says despite the tough economic challenges facing South African mining companies should try to find other solutions to their financial woes before considering retrenchments.

This follows Gold Field's announcement on Tuesday morning that it may shed at least 1,500 jobs.

The company says its South Deep mine can no longer function optimally and have no choice but to consider retrenchments.

But Mantashe says the mine stands the risk of breaking the law with this move.

The minister says mining companies should find ways they could optimize production and not run to cutting jobs.

Spokesman Nathi Shabangu said: “The minister wants to create a conducive environment where the industry, the department, and unions work together and they engage continuously in order to find a solution.”

He says by law, mines should discuss these options with the department before decisions are taken.

“The trend now we are noticing is where some companies do not meaningfully engage with the department on their restructuring plans where they only brief us as a formality or tick box exercise.”

Mantashe has accused mining companies of never really discussing matters meaningfully in the interest of sustaining the sector and the economy.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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