Advocate Thabo Mokoena, Director General of Mineral Resources, says it is worrying that mines are contemplating cutting jobs.
This follows an announcement from Gold Fields that it is planning to lay off up to 1,560 employees at its South Deep mine. Impala Platinum also made a job cutting announcement of 13 000 jobs in the next two years.
Mokoena says Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has released a statement expressing his dissatisfaction with the manner in which Gold Fields has handled the situation.
He says mines are encouraged to have meaningful discussions with the department before making such announcements.
We are seeing a trend that the department will just be notified on the eve of making such an announcement that the mine is contemplating on retrenching such a number of employees. This is worrying to us as a department.— Thabo Mokoena, Director General of Mineral resources
As the regulator, we would actually want them to come to us in advance to present their case at the department so that we can be able to look at various options that may be viable.— Thabo Mokoena, Director General of Mineral resources
Mokoena says when these mines make such announcements they cause unnecessary panic and that should be avoided at all costs.
He says there are various stakeholders that should be consulted before these kinds of decisions are made.
We always say to the mines that they must opt for Section 52 because it is a platform that allows all the parties to be engaged.— Thabo Mokoena, Director General of Mineral resources
There are also forums that they must utilise so that when there is a decision to retrench or to scale down, at least all the stakeholders in that space will be knowing that were engaged thoroughly on these matters.— Thabo Mokoena, Director General of Mineral resources
The department says it is looking at different options to make sure that it alleviate the impact of job losses.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Advocate Thabo Mokoena, listen below: