Statement of the Workers Committee at Angloplats

by May 21, 2013All Articles

AngloplatsWe shall not accept one more job loss at Angloplats – We shall resist – We shall fight

We do not accept the decision of Angloplats to fire 6000 workers. We are not relieved that management has reduced the number from 14,000. It may please the government and Minister Shabangu but we are outraged. Once again the workers must pay for the bosses mismanagement of the company.

In January 2013, Amplats claimed that the platinum industry was in an intractable “crisis”. They said they had “no choice” but to sack 14 000 workers. Yet it is clear they have many choices as now they announce they will fire 6000 workers.

It is possible to reduce this to zero and that is what we are fighting for.

We do not forget that in 2007, Angloplats employed 88 000 workers. Since then Angloplats has already retrenched 37 000 workers.

Enough is enough!

They were retrenched to boost profits, and not to save the company from going bust. Again, workers and their families are expected to pay. More livelihoods will be destroyed.

The story of the bosses doesn’t hold water. They cannot be trusted.

In June 2012, the retiring CEO Neville Nicolau said that there will be no more retrenchments: “overheads … would make us unprofitable if we cut back too much.”

The reason for high costs at Khomanani and Khuseleka was “short-term capital projects” he said. More machines were put into place to boost productivity. In June 2012, these two mines were reported the most productive mines of all at Angloplats. They were running at a profit and were not loss making. Their cost would be back to normal this year, said Nicolau. Six months later, the new CEO said that Khomanani and Khuseleka are “unsustainable” and “high cost”. This is a clearly brazen lie. Now, suddenly, Khuseleka will not be closed. For sure, there is no reason to close Khomanani either. Management must stop zig-zagging.

Indeed, during the boom years of 2008 and 2009 Amplats paid out R29 billion to shareholders, mainly to its giant owner, the old Anglo American. This was more money than the entire wage bill of all platinum mines in SA during that period.

They did not plan for the future. Today, they want to create a shortage of platinum in order to push-up the platinumprice. They target a “very good performing” mine to do so, as they say in their own annual report.

All top analysts agree that “the long-term profitability of the sector remains intact”.

But Mr Griffiths, Mrs Caroll and their friendsare claiming they have no option but to announce more retrenchments. They are trying to impose the costs of their own greed and mismanagement on workers, and to impress shareholders by showing how ruthless they can be.

There must be change. And this change can and should start at Angloplats with mine workers, their families, the dependent mining communities and the whole of South Africa fighting back and saying NO to this plan and the blind race to the bottom. We will have no part of it.

The platinum is not going anywhere. Neither shall the workers at Angloplats.

Cut in the short-term profits, not in the workforce.

For more info:

Evans 084 5683895
Gaddafi 071 204 3492
Makhanya 074 9207700

Share this article:


Latest issue

Amandla Issue #92