newsBusiness Report writes that the list of announced plans to retrench in 2020, both in the private and public sectors, has grown rapidly and an anticipated small uptick in the economy is unlikely to slow its trajectory.  

Among the list of larger companies to have announced retrenchment plans this year are the following: ArcelorMittal SA (400); Educor (752); Eskom (voluntary separation packages for “non-core” staff); Telkom (3,000); Massmart (1,440); Aspen (219); Samancor (2,500); Glencore (605); SAB (500); and Tongaat-Hulett (400).  Added to this is the unremitting pace of company liquidations, which consequently lead to job losses.  Statistics SA data show liquidations increased by 11% to 1,079, while close corporation liquidations increased by 10.3% to 963 between 2018 and 2019.  Economist John Loos said the upward trend in retrenchments was likely to continue as retrenchments lagged the economy, and current job cuts were the cumulative result of the stagnant or low growing economy since 2012.  He said this meant that even if the economy grew marginally by 1% in 2020, as forecast by FNB, compared with only 0.3% growth last year, the current trend of retrenchments was likely to continue for the present.  Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the rate of retrenchments was a big worry for the trade union federation and that was why it had begun working towards finding solutions itself to the problems, as it had done with the recent proposal that government pension funds be used to assist in getting Eskom functioning properly again.

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