ANGLO American Platinum, the world’s top platinum producer, announced Friday it will cut 6,000 mining jobs in South Africa to restore profitability.
Amplats originally proposed slashing 14,000 jobs and reducing platinum production by close to 20 percent but scaled back the plans to 10 percent, the equivalent of a 4.5 percent reduction globally.
The reduced job losses will likely soften the blow for the African National Congress government, which faces an election next year, but it remains to be seen if it appeases the anger of powerful local unions, according to a report in New Zimbabwe.
Platinum is used to cap emissions in catalytic converters in vehicles, according to the report.
Activists with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union in Rustenburg told Reuters they would not tolerate any job losses.
“Everyone is surprised. We were not expecting any retrenchment at all. We can’t allow this,” said Sphamandla Makhanya, a worker committee member at Amplats. “But before we do anything, we are going to have a mass meeting with the workers to decide what to do next.”
Read more at New Zimbabwe.