Mass retrenchments on the platinum belt will cost the country’s economy more than one billion rand per month, in the new year.  This is according to the Rustenburg Chamber of Commerce, which warns that imminent massive retrenchment process will have far reaching consequences for the Rustenburg communities and the country.

Impala platinum mine has announced that it will retrench more 13 500 employees while Lonmin is also cutting more than 10 000 workers from its workforce.

Impala is the country’s  biggest mining employer and  is set to close 5 of its 11 operations in Rustenburg. This has caused a great anxiety amongst workers who remain uncertain on their future.

A robust approach is needed urgently to avoid the economical meltdown of Rustenburg, this according to Chairperson of Rustenburg Chamber Of Commerce, Pieter Milan.

“I think the important thing is everybody must realise there is no simple answers. This is a highly complex problem we have to diversify our city economy away from mining. We have to reinvent Rustenburg for the day after mining and we have to start that planning now.”

However, the Rustenburg local municipality is hopeful that things could improve. Rustenburg Local Municipality Spokesperson, David Magae says, “We are subsequently now attracting new business and new investors apart from those that are active in the mining industry to ensure that post the mining era of Rustenburg we in a situation where the economy can still grow but focusing on processing and manufacturing,”.