Saldanha Bay mayor Marius Koen estimates that at least 400 direct jobs will be lost when ArcelorMittal South Africa closes its operation in the area.
The company announced that steel operations at its Saldanha site had been suffering severe financial losses.
Koen says he's concerned about the "vicious effect" the job losses will have on the local economy downstream.
He says that the semi and unskilled workers in the local steel industry will be the hardest hit by the plant closure.
According to Koen, the municipality had even offered the struggling steelmaker a 20% rebate on its water bill in a bid to keep the company up and running.
We estimate around 400 direct jobs [will be lost].— Marius Koen, Executive Mayor - Saldanha Bay Municipality
We're saddened by the news and the effect it will have, especially on the down-stream economy.— Marius Koen, Executive Mayor - Saldanha Bay Municipality
It has a vicious effect in terms of the economy spin-over as well the other companies working for Saldanha steel in the industry as well.— Marius Koen, Executive Mayor - Saldanha Bay Municipality
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : About 400 jobs to be lost when ArcelorMittal closes Saldanha steel plant - mayor