De Beers warns of large-scale job cuts

Cape Town – Diamond mining giant De Beers announced on Tuesday that it would soon initiate a large-scale retrenchment process.

The company which is owned by Anglo American [JSE:AGL] plans to cut 152 posts at its Venetia Mine outside Musina, and another 214 posts at some of its other mines in South Africa.

“Anglo American and De Beers want to reduce their mines from 53 to only 16 mines. Moreover, Anglo American wants to reduce its platinum mines in South Africa to only five, and it would sell Kumba Iron Ore. In addition, the company wants to sell all nine its coal mines in South Africa,” Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis said.

He said the announcement was made shortly before Anglo American’s briefing session where the company said its financial position had seriously deteriorated in the recent past.

Du Plessis called on the companies who would be buying Anglo American’s mines to honour the company’s good standards and conditions of service in a responsible manner.

“We also call upon the new owners of the mines to ensure that there will be no retrenchments at the mines during the takeover process,” Du Plessis said.

Du Plessis also called on Anglo American and similar companies to be honest about the real reasons for scaling down their South African operations.

“If Anglo American’s scaling down is in fact linked to the unfavourable political climate in South Africa, the company’s management should state this openly. It is high time the government is called to account for their share in the downscaling by large international companies in South Africa,” Du Plessis said.