18 January 2013

South Africa: Amplats Commits to Consultations Before Implementing Business Review Proposals

The battle for union control at the Amplats mine in Rustenburg is heating up. Thirteen people were injured yesterday when the Association of ... ( Resource: Battle for Union Control at Amplats

Pretoria — Chris Griffiths, Amplats Chief Executive Officer, has assured the North West Provincial Government delegation, led by Premier Thandi Modise, that the mine will intensify its consultation processes before it implements its business review proposals.

According to the provincial government, the commitment was made at a bilateral meeting held in Rustenburg on Thursday.

Amplats announced earlier this week that it was proposing to put four unsustainable, high-cost shafts, namely Khuseleka 1 and 2 and Khomanani 1 and 2 on long-term care and maintenance. This could leave about 14 000 workers without work.

However, the company further proposes to create at least 14 000 new jobs through housing, infrastructure and small business development to balance the number of jobs that may be affected by the restructuring.

The Provincial Government said the commitment made by Amplats at the bilateral meeting on Thursday was in response to a concern raised by Modise regarding the impact the proposed restructuring might have on employees, their dependants, Rustenburg as a mining area, labour sending areas and the economy.

"Everything should be done to avoid job losses and where these are unavoidable, their impact should be mitigated through a comprehensive social plan that is informed by inputs from government, trade unions, traditional leaders, local government and affected communities," the Premier said.

She welcomed the commitment by Amplats to intensify its consultation processes before implementing its proposals.

Griffiths said in addition to redeployment of 9000 workers that might be affected by the restructuring process to other Anglo American operations where vacancies exist, his company was targeting to create at least 14 000 replacement jobs to balance the number of jobs that may be affected by the proposed restructuring.

He said that his company intended re-skilling its employees with portable skills such as brick laying for participation in an informal settlement eradication housing development anchor project for construction of 15 000 housing units.

Amplats proposes to contribute R300 million towards the project.

Other projects that the company proposes to discuss with employees and their representatives during the statutory consultation process includes up-skilling of employees in portable mining skills, small business creation, beneficiation and broader community development initiatives in Rustenburg and other labour sending areas.

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