Job crisis hits South African mines
Gold Fields, one of
South Africa's most venerable miners, announced plans to slash
1,100 jobs, or nearly a third of the full-time workforce last month at its loss-making South Deep unit. Another 50,000 jobs were lost in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the year-ago period of 2017, with the sector's contribution to GDP now below 10 per cent. At their peak in the late 1980s, South Africa's mines employed 760,000 people and contributed 21 per cent to GDP, according to government figures. Due to mechanisation and as deposits become harder to access profitably, the number has fallen drastically with just over 460,000 people working in mines in 2017.