South Africa mining faces 45,000 job losses on extended lockdown

Photo: Minerals Council South Africa

South Africa’s mining industry could shed more than 10,000 direct jobs as the sector reels from the impact of the nationwide lockdown.

Job cuts could rise to more than 45,000, or about 10% of the total number of people employed in the sector, on a prolonged shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Minerals Council South Africa said in a report on its website.

Most South African mines have been mothballed since President Cyril Ramaphosa extended a 21-day lockdown by two weeks to the end of this month.

While the lobby group sees annual output contracting by about 5% as a result of the three-week closure, a prolonged lockdown could see production slumping 15%.

“A longer lockdown period, with lower production and no mechanisms in place to support the industry, could put 10% of the workforce at risk– and this excludes jobs in supplier industries,” the Minerals Council said.

(By Felix Njini)


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