The company’s troubled platinum mine, Anglo Platinum, has lost about 15 weeks of productive work with workers having lost a substantial amount in wages during the same period.
(READ MORE: Anglo Platinum ups production despite industry volatility)
“The impact has not only been felt by the company alone but by the country and workers as well. Workers have suffered a loss of over six billion rand in wages collectively which has an impact on their houses and cars among others,” Khanyisile Thandiwe Kweyama, executive director of Anglo American Southern Africa told CNBC Africa during WEF Africa in Nigeria.
“We strongly feel that many workers want to return to work. We have done surveys that shows us that two thirds of the work force wants to return to work but there is a lot of intimidation that is preventing people from returning to work.”
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“We are certain that we are managing our other platinum mines properly as to avoid a spill over to other mines,” she added.
“The focus was election and now that elections have been conducted, we are hoping that a lot of workers will say we are starting a new era now let us go back to work.”
Kweyama added that her company was engaging workers directly as they realised that the union involved was not taking the message back to the workers.
“Our offers to the workers are getting acceptances. As employers we are exercising our ability to talk to our employees directly.”
Kweyama says her company has not entertained the possibility of selling its affected mine
“We haven’t made those decisions as yet, but there are discussions about that as expressed in our annual general meetings. We still have to consult the government and other stakeholders, we might have to take a lower stake and allow other people to operate in that space.”
“It is not something that is being implemented now, it is going through the processes that includes the [governing structure responsible for making such decision].”
The mining company says it is still committed to South Africa.
“We are still committed to South Africa as we don’t have only platinum as a commodity, we have iron ore, thermal coal, diamonds and manganese. So we are not rethinking our commitment to South Africa, we still remain in the country for long term. We do not have plans of divesting our assets.”
BY TRUST MATSILELE