South Africa: Saldanha Community to Pay Heavy Price As 568 Steel Jobs Disappear On West Coast

analysis

Its looking like a bleak Christmas on the West Coast, with ArcelorMittal SA's announcement this week that it is shutting down its Saldanha steel operation.

The closing of the ArcelorMittal SA Saldanha steel operation means another 500-plus jobs lost to the economy of South Africa. The group said the winding down of the plant would start immediately and be completed by the first quarter of 2020. The mining outfit pointed at a drop in profits, high raw materials costs and regulated pricing as among the reasons for the shutdown.

Steel sales were also down at the end of September and earlier in 2019 - in July - the group announced that it was beginning restructuring talks with employees as it had a national staff complement of 12,000 and would need to cut that number by as much as 2,000.

Global economic jitters has brought a slowdown in consumer purchases as well as large capital-intensive projects. The group has been feeling the pinch with revenue forecasts showing no relief expected any time soon. The company's share price is reported to have lost almost 50% in the year to date.

ArcelorMittal is the world's largest steel producer. Its Saldanha mill produces 1.2...

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