The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has expressed concern at Sibanye-Stillwater’s announcement that it has started with retrenchment consultations at its Marikana operations.
“It is disheartening, in these tough economic times when the country is faced with increased unemployment, to hear of potential job losses at Sibanye-Stillwater,” said the department on Wednesday.
This as the precious metals mining company advised that it will enter into consultation with relevant stakeholders in terms of Section 189A (S189 process) of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 (LRA), regarding the restructuring of its Marikana operation and associated services.
In its announcement on Wednesday, Sibanye said it has been experiencing ongoing financial losses at Marikana with certain shafts having reached the end of their economic reserve lives.
“In line with Section 52 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA), the department urges all stakeholders to engage in good faith and explore all possible options to save jobs,” said the department.
The DMRE implored stakeholders to act responsibly and with due care as they deal with a sensitive matter which involves the livelihoods of employees and their immediate families.
Sibanye said through the formal Section 189 consultation process it, together with the affected stakeholders, will consider measures to avoid and mitigate possible retrenchments and seek alternatives to the potential cessation or downscaling of operations.
The S189 process follows a detailed three month review of the Marikana operation, post the Lonmin acquisition becoming effective in June 2019. The review and planning process included the simulation of alternative scenarios to minimise job losses.