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Anglo Platinum retrenches 500

Almost 500 employees of Anglo American Platinum in North West will join the ranks of the unemployed next month.

In a restructuring exercise, the mine initially intended to retrench 1,300 workers in 2013. After consultations, the majority have been given permanent employment; however 474 are to be laid off. One sole breadwinner, who has been working at Anglo Platinum’s Khomanani shaft for almost eight years, says she now faces a life of poverty in her Eastern Cape home province.

She indicated: "This thing of retrenchments is not fair on me and my family. I was the only one working at home, my brother is unemployed, and so this is really not good." The platinum producer said that despite having explored all options, the group of 474 could not be offered permanent jobs. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is seeking a meeting with the mine, with the union’s David Molefi saying: "We cannot allow a situation where even one employee loses his or her job.

We cannot even afford for one person to lose job because we know in South Africa that we are struggling to create jobs." The NUM said the retrenchments would have a ripple effect in the community.