Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier says the decision to shut down some of the operations at ArcelorMittal in Saldanha, will be a huge blow to the regional economy of Saldanha Bay.

Maynier says this is happening despite cost cutting measures like the municipality providing lower water tariffs and national government reducing electricity and freight costs since the mid-year announcement of possible restructuring.

About 900 workers are expected to be affected.

Maynier has described the news as devastating for the province.

“We have been in regular contact with the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel since the mid-year announcement of a possible restructuring of the company, to try and prevent the closure of the steel works pant in Saldanha. We will work hard together with the municipality and business stakeholders to continue to grow other sectors of the regional economy, and we will be in contact with the company to discuss the assistance we can offer, especially to the employees who are likely to be affected in Saldanha.”