NUM shocked and angered by Implats' layoff plan

Union says other alternatives should be explored, retrenchments must be last resort


The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is shocked and angered by Impala Platinum mine’s decision to retrench 13 000 mineworkers over a period of two years at its operations in Rustenburg. The decision to retrench 13 000 was reported in the media today and employees were not aware of this decison.

 Retrenchments have become something of an excuse for the mining companies who are typically insensitive to the plight of workers and their families, especially with the unemployment rate in the country sitting at 27,2 percent.

 As NUM we are saying other alternatives should be explored, retrenchments must be last resort.

The NUM is concerned that when mining companies issue Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act they do not align it with Section 52 of the MPRDA 2002, which states the following: “The holder of a mining right must, after consultation with any registered trade union or affected employees or their nominated representatives where there is no such trade union, notify the Minister in the prescribed manner- (a) where prevailing economic conditions cause the profit to revenue ratio of the relevant mine to be less than six percent on average for a continuous period of 12 months; or (b) if any mining operation is to be scaled down or to cease with the possible effect that 10 percent or more of the labour force or more than 500 employees, whichever is the lesser, are likely to be retrenched in any 12-month period.”

Statement issued by Phillip Vilakazi: NUM Deputy President, 3 August 2018