The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in Limpopo says it is opposing the planned retrenchments of close to 400 workers at Ivanplats operations in Mogalakwena, Mokopane.

The union says the company issued the Section 189 notice in May. Employees under sub-contractors will also be affected.

Mine employees working at the Ivanplats mine shaft in Mogalakwena, in Limpopo, have rejected the announcement made by Ivanhoe, that it plans to release 72 workers from their contracts in a retrenchment process.

The National Union of Mineworkers in the region says employees were currently working on a project to sink a shaft. Union representative, Louis Ramokano says that the project has now been left incomplete.

Ramokano says the mine earlier communicated plans to absorb more than 2 000 workers permanently upon its completion.

“During the process of them giving us Section 189, we were busy engaging with the employer that when this contractor … the employees when they are done with the shaft sinking, they must be absorbed in this mine because according to the information that was brought to us, the mine in its full operation was going to 2 200 and, almost plus or minus 2200 employees.”

The union says close to 80 full-time employees and about 400 under a sub-contractor will be affected by the Section 189 announcement.

Ramokano says, “Because there are intentions to retrench, it means both the employees of the contractor – that is Avenge and the main employer which is Ivanplats – all workers are going to lose jobs. So, in terms of Ivanplats, there is going to be 72 employees that are going to be affected. In terms of Avenge, there are going to be 313 employees that are going to be affected.”

Efforts to reach Ivanplats for comment regarding the looming retrenchments were unsuccessful.