Mathunjwa2City Press reports that according to Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa, the union knew there would be a bloodbath of jobs if Sibanye-Stillwater’s acquisition of Lonmin’s Marikana operations was approved by the Competition Commission.  

Sibanye announced last week it would cut 5,270 jobs – 3,904 employees and 1,366 contractors – at its Marikana operations.  “We saw it coming.  That is why we opposed the sale.  We fought it and the government did not support us.  These retrenchments are well orchestrated to destroy Amcu and its leadership.  They never expected me to come back from the elections as president,” Mathunjwa said, while accusing the company of having planned the cuts in advance.  He also said the government was complicit:  “It’s exploitation and they have the backing of the government.  No one can doubt it’s a neoliberal government.”  Mathunjwa said that under Ben Magara, Lonmin’s chief executive, the same operations had turned the corner and had even posted more than R1.1 billion in operating profit before the sale earlier this year.  Sibanye plans to shut three shafts and an open-cast operation.  “These shafts and operations are lossmaking and have reached the end of their economic reserve lives.  Pending the outcome of the 189 (consultation) process, it is proposed that these shafts will initially be placed on care and maintenance,” Sibanya said.

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