NUM shocked by Sibanye’s planned retrenchments amid better gold price

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The National Union of Metalworkers (NUM) says Sibanye Stillwater’s latest retrenchment announcement comes as a shock considering the improved gold price in international markets.

NUM says it is ready to engage the company through a CCMA facilitated process to minimise job losses.

NUM is further calling for Sibanye-Stillwater’s top management, including CEO Neal Froneman, to resign.

NUM National Spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu elaborates, “This decision that has been taken by Sibanye will plunge a number of mine workers into abject poverty. The current management and the CEO are unable to manage this company and this is causing serious instability in the gold sector and it’s totally unacceptable, it’s capitalist barbarism.”

On Thursday, Sibanye Stillwater announced that the planned restructuring of its South African gold operations could result in the loss of more than 4 000 jobs.

The company says that the restructuring was intended to stop losses at its Beatrix 1 shaft, which has been unable to provide expected production.

The mining company suffered an annual loss of two billion dollars in 2023 due to a collapse in metal prices.

It is also looking to cut at its Kloof 2 plant which, after the closure of the Kloof 4 shaft in 2023, has had insufficient processing material available to cover overheads.

“Sibanye Stillwater confirms that it has advised stakeholders that it will enter into consultations with organised labour and other representatives of affected non-unionised employees in terms of Section 189 A of the Labour Relations Act regarding the proposed restructuring at its so-called operations and its southern Africa region service functions,” Sibanye Stillwater spokesperson, James Wellsted said.