South Africa's Sibanye may lay off over 330 platinum workers

South African gold and platinum producer Sibanye Gold said on Thursday it may have to cut up to 330 jobs in platinum operations it acquired from Anglo American Platinum and Aquarius Platinum.

Job cuts are a thorny issue in South Africa, where the unemployment rate is around 25 percent, income disparities are glaring and unions are known for their militancy. The platinum belt has been a flashpoint of labour unrest and violence.

“In 2016, Sibanye highlighted approximately 800 million rand ($60 million) in cost and operational synergies that need to be realised between the Kroondal and Rustenburg operations to ensure sustainability,” Sibanye said in a statement.

“The reduction in replicated overhead costs and duplicate structures is a critical first step in realising these synergies,” the company said.

Union officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

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