The wold's biggest Steel Producer AcrelorMittal announced that it will be closing its Saldanha Bay operations.
The company says that due to the sluggish economy and a drop in orders due to the Dollar Rand Exchange rate, it no longer makes business sense to keep the operations running.
Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier talks to Refilwe Moloto about how they hope to avert job losses.
Maynier says the provincial and national government have been in talks with the company since mid-year when news of a possible shutdown emerged.
We are obviously devastated that the company announced yesterday that the plant would be put into a state of maintenance and care because that could affect up to 500 direct jobs, and 1000 contractor jobs at the Saldanha Bay plant.— David Maynier, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government
He says Minister of Trade and Indstry, Ebrahim Patel has pushed back.
We have to try and work on trying to explore other options.— David Maynier, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government
Patel has developed a support package.
Firstly, reducing regulated prices in particular electricity and freight, but Maynier says it does not seem to have been sufficient.
A second proposal is to enter into talks with the company to consider selling the plant to a competitor.
Whether this is successful only time will tell, but this is not the end of the road.— David Maynier, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities - Western Cape government
Listen to the interview below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : W Cape govt still hopes to avert ArcellorMittal closure in Saldanha Bay