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Amplats job cuts slammed by mineral resources portfolio committee

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has expressed outrage over a decision by platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) to retrench more than 400 workers.

Chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said in a statement: “This move digresses from the government’s efforts to create jobs and fight poverty and inequality. Although we understand that the company has been contemplating restructuring since 2013, we do not agree that retrenchment could be the only solution.”

Amplats has insisted that it could only find permanent positions for 774 employees out of 1,248 who were initially targeted for retrenchment. Luzipo urged Amplats management to further engage with stakeholders, including the committee, in order to share whatever challenges the company faced and to indicate how the committee could help to avoid further job losses in the sector.

“We will strongly discourage any company in the mining sector from retrenching its employees in the face of massive unemployment and social inequality,” Luzipo said. Meanwhile the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) claimed there could be collusion between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and employers in the platinum belt to discredit and displace the NUM and cited Amplats’ Khomanani mine as a case in point. “This confirm our perception and suspicions that Amcu is a counter-revolutionary force created and sponsored by capital to destroy NUM and transformation,” NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said. However, both Amcu and Amplats have dismissed the allegations.

Source: SA Labour News