South Africa's government has been able to save 3,000 jobs in the mining sector, which employs more than 400,000 people, through negotiations with company executives, Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Friday.
"2016 is going to be a hectic year with actions that will include job losses," Zwane told a business forum.
The government has said 32,000 workers in the sector, which contributes around 7 percent to Africa's most industrialised economy, could lose their jobs following a slump in commodity prices due to slowing economic growth in China, the world's biggest metals consumer.
Companies have warned that they have to cut costs and close struggling mines to cope with sinking commodity prices, rising costs and labour unrest.
But the prospect of mine sales by some struggling companies would offer an opportunity for new firms to enter the sector, Zwane added.