South Africa mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane has instructed the government’s Minerals Board to verify information provided by AngloGold Ashanti regarding the reasons behind its decision to consider laying off up to 8,500 workers.
“These are not just numbers to be thrown around, but people’s livelihoods and future job prospects, and we should not take this matter lightly,” Zwane said in a statement after meeting with the company.
Job cuts are a thorny issue in South Africa, where the unemployment rate is at a 14-year high. The mining industry in recent years has shed tens of thousands of jobs in the face of depressed prices, soaring costs and labour unrest.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia)