Government needs to urgently intervene to stem the tide of retrenchments in the mining industry

20 February 2024

Government needs to urgently intervene to stem the tide of retrenchments in the mining industry.  The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is deeply worried about the number of retrenchment notifications being issued across mining companies.  The leadership of government and business need to act to avert this potential jobs bloodbath in the mining sector.

The signs of massive job losses in this sector have been clear for some time.  What has not been forthcoming are concrete actions from government and business to turn this situation around whilst workers are receiving retrenchment notices.  Key to stemming this pending disaster include:

  • Additional support to help Eskom end loadshedding. 
  • A decisive package of urgent interventions to secure and rebuild Transnet Freight Rail and unblock and modernise the Ports.
  • Fast tracking the implementation of the new mining rights application system to revive investments in this jobs rich sector.
  • Engagements in good faith by employers with unions in the sector to identify alternatives to sending mine workers to the unemployment queue, including enlisting the support of the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s Temporary Employment Relief Scheme.
  • Interventions by shareholders to release the exorbitant salaries of mining executives to help pay mine workers.

What we cannot is to abandon mine workers who have built this economy.  COSATU and its tireless affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will continue engaging government and business on urgent interventions and solutions.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687