Sibanye concludes consultations with labour over Kloof 4 restructuring

Multinational mining and metals processing group Sibanye-Stillwater says it had constructive consultations with stakeholders affected by the planned closure of its Kloof 4 shaft in Gauteng. The company in September announced that it was planning to restructure the operation amid ongoing losses over an extended period and operational constraints at the Kloof 4 shaft. At the time, it indicated that 2 389 employees and 581 contractors may lose their jobs as a result.

In an update to shareholders published on December 1, the group points out that the number of affected employees had since been reduced by 31 owing to natural attrition. Further, avoidance measures have been agreed upon, with 1 057 of the affected employees having accepted transfers to fill vacant positions at the group’s other South African gold operations and 550 employees from Kloof 4 shaft having been granted voluntary separation or early retirement packages. 

In addition, 176 employees and 23 contractors will be temporarily retained during the Kloof 4 shaft decommissioning phase. Sibanye says that, regrettably, 575 employees could not be accommodated in the agreed avoidance measures and will be retrenched. All affected contractors will also be reduced. “While the decision to close or restructure operations is never taken lightly, the closure of Kloof 4 shaft was necessary to curb ongoing financial losses. The . . . consultation process encouragingly achieved this required outcome while also reducing the number of retrenchments. We acknowledge and thank all stakeholders for their constructive engagement,” comments Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman.

Sibanye has also entered into consultations with stakeholders regarding potential retrenchments at its South African and US platinum group metal (PGM) operations. In October, it announced that it was considering the restructuring of four shafts within its South African PGMs business, with up to 3 500 employees and 595 contractors potentially facing retrenchment. Earlier this week, it announced that it would also cut about 300 jobs at its US PGM operations, with about 100 employees and nearly 200 contractors to be affected. 

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