Cosatu has accused precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater of not making adequate plans ahead of its decision to lay off more than 5000 gold mineworkers in Randfontein, Gauteng.

The company’s decision comes as the mine shuts its loss-making Cooke shafts, where illegal mining syndicates have plagued its operations.

Layoffs remain a thorny political and social issue, especially after the recent release of the  unemplyoment rate which stands close to 28%.

COSATU spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says mining companies should empathise with workers.

“These are people with livelihoods. When you get rid of an employee, in South Africa it has been proved that an average worker is supposed plus or minus ten people. If you feel that it’s time to shut down operations, you have to make some preparations. It’s unfair for the mining companies to just dump you into the unemployment line without really setting aside some funding.”

Listen to full interview below: