Sibanye cuts fewer jobs than planned in Marikana restructuring

The Marikana platinum mine, located near Rustenburg, about 112km from Johannesburg. (Image courtesy of Sibanye-Stillwater)

South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater said on Thursday it has concluded a consultation process that reduced the number of proposed job cuts as it restructures the loss-making Marikana operations it acquired last year.

In September, Sibanye said it planned to cut around 5,270 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring process aimed at returning the mine to profit and protecting its remaining shafts.

Sibanye took over the mine in June as part of a deal to buy out struggling platinum miner Lonmin

The outcome of the consultation process saw about 1,612 employees granted voluntary separation packages, another 1,142 retrenched and the number of contractors reduced by 1,709. Another 53 workers left on normal retirement terms and natural attrition accounted for 259 jobs, the miner said.

At 1354 GMT, the company’s shares were up 5.80% at 37.92 rand.

Sibanye also said it would keep operating one shaft that was at risk of closure – Shaft 1B – provided that the project continued to be profitable over a three-month average period, preserving 329 jobs.

Job losses were further reduced by identifying about 166 opportunities for affected employees to be transferred to other operations, it added.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the consultations with stakeholders, which despite the necessary closure of some end of life shafts, resulted in the preservation of a number of jobs,” Sibanye-Stillwater Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman said.

“This will result in a more sustainable business which will secure employment for the majority of the Marikana workforce for a much longer period.”

Sibanye took over the mine in June as part of a deal to buy out struggling platinum miner Lonmin. It first proposed buying Lonmin in 2017 in a deal touted as the only way to save its 29,000-strong workforce.

Lonmin had previously planned to close shafts and cut around 12,600 jobs.

(By Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Alex Richardson and Kirsten Donovan)


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