The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the country could face major job losses in the coming months.
The organisation said that it was shattered and disappointed by the high levels of possible job losses due to retrenchments in some of the companies, in particular mining.
“To this date, close to 10,000 jobs stand to be lost between now and January 2024,” NUM said.
This is a huge blow, according to the union, given how much unemployment the country is facing.
A number of precious mental mining companies have been looking at cutting thousands of jobs in SA.
The main reasons for this have been, firstly, the fact that the price of metals has declined, and secondly, the huge export congestion that has resulted at our ports and rails.
Anglo American Plc is one such company that is facing these issues and has been mulling the fact that they have to reduce their employment capacity.
According to BusinessTech, in 2023, the price of major precious metals like platinum and palladium dropped by around 11% and 40%, respectively.
In October, Sibanye-Stillwater said that given the metal price decline, they could let go of four or their mines that are not making a profit, and this could lead to more than 4,000 jobs being cut.
In September, the mine said that it had initiated a Section 189 process with unions at its Kloof 4 shaft in Carletonville.
The mine said that close to 3,000 jobs were on the line.
That means that more than 7,000 jobs could be lost at just one mining company.
On Monday, Wesizwe Platinum said it is planning to restructure its “bloated” Bakubung mine in the North West.
Wesizwe Platinum has 761 staff members at the Bakubung mine, and 571 employees could lose their jobs.
The NUM is calling on businesses in all sectors to be “considerate of the situation in the country as the level of poverty continues to be a worrying factor”.
“As a trade union, we are ready to constructively engage in a process that will protect jobs, prevent future job losses, and prolong the jobs of those who are already employed. We call upon companies to launch new projects. These companies should not wait for the so-called right time while workers are struggling.“
It has also cited that the energy crisis in SA has been a reason used by a number of companies to issue Section 189 notices.
“Clearly, for as long as there is still no solution to the electricity challenges, we will continue to lose jobs. We are calling on the government to proactively attend to this as a matter of urgency,” the union said.