An­glo plans to drop the axe

CityPress - - Business -

Em­bat­tled min­ing gi­ant An­glo Amer­i­can was ex­pected to no­tify govern­ment of its in­ten­tion to re­trench lo­cal mine work­ers and re­turn min­ing rights to the depart­ment, said Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane.

Zwane told City Press on Fri­day he ex­pected the Lon­don-based com­pany to join other min­ing com­pa­nies that in­tended re­trench­ing up to 32 000 work­ers when it filed its re­struc­tur­ing no­tice.

“In a few weeks, An­glo will give us a sec­tion 189 no­tice to re­struc­ture its mines. We met the CEO [Mark Cu­ti­fani] and said we will not get in­volved in its op­er­a­tions glob­ally – but when it comes to its re­struc­tur­ing in South Africa, we will get in­volved,” said Zwane. Shamiela Let­soalo, an An­glo spokesper­son, said that while a re­struc­tur­ing process was un­der way, they would not spec­u­late when a for­mal re­struc­tur­ing no­tice could be is­sued.

Zwane said that since his ap­point­ment in Septem­ber last year, the depart­ment’s deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral for min­eral regulation, Joel Raphela, had been man­dated to in­ter­vene on be­half of govern­ment to save jobs in var­i­ous mines. This af­ter the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers last week said the task team set up by govern­ment to in­ter­vene to save min­ing jobs had not met since Zwane took of­fice.

Zwane re­sponded: “It’s a myth that we have not been en­gag­ing with the mines on th­ese loom­ing job cuts.” He said he or the team led by Raphela had met with the man­age­ment of Har­mony Gold and Im­pala Plat­inum, and had helped to save 3 000 jobs at Glen­core’s Op­ti­mum Col­liery. He said the depart­ment was aware of what was tak­ing place at the mines be­cause of en­gage­ments with man­age­ment.

Zwane – who has been ac­cused of be­ing too close to the con­tro­ver­sial Gupta fam­ily – ve­he­mently de­nied al­le­ga­tions of favouritism to­wards the fam­ily, call­ing the al­le­ga­tions “pro­pa­ganda” af­ter he trav­elled to Switzer­land with a del­e­ga­tion of the Gupta-owned Tegeta Ex­plo­ration and Re­sources for ne­go­ti­a­tions on the sale of Glen­core’s Op­ti­mum Col­liery.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, di­ver­si­fied min­ing com­pany South32 this week an­nounced plans to lay off 620 em­ploy­ees at its man­ganese mines.

– Xolani Mban­jwa

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