Sibanye-Stillwater has informed trade unions it aims to cut up to 5,270 jobs at its Marikana operations, which were once part of Lonmin. If Sibanye had not acquired Lonmin, more than 20,000 jobs would have been at risk.
Back in December 2017, when diversified precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater announced its intention to acquire Lonmin, about 12,600 jobs looked likely to be shed at the troubled platinum producer. A further 900 jobs would probably go because of duplications arising from the merger. On 10 June 2019, the merger was concluded, with conditions that included no forced retrenchments for at least six months.
That deadline expires in December and Sibanye on Wednesday 25 September informed unions of its intention to cut up to 5,270 jobs at the Marikana unit.
There will be a mandatory 60 days of consultations, which can be extended for a month, then the restructuring can go ahead. Nothing is set in stone and some of the jobs could be saved - with workers transferred to other units, for example - but shafts will close at Marikana as they have reached the end of their reserves.
"It's possible that there will be fewer job losses. We will see how...