Sibanye StillwaterBusiness Times writes that, on the surface with a leadership team of only 55 people overseeing more than six operations in SA, Sibanye-Stillwater's (SS’s) management seems stretched to an alarming degree.  

That could be one of the factors contributing to its steep rise in fatalities this year.  Of the 45 mineworkers who have died in SA this year, 20 worked at SS operations.  Last week the precious metals producer, which has had a rapid expansion over its short history, appointed a new safety manager to deal with the safety problem.  SS’s industry peer, AngloGold Ashanti, has 400 employees at its Johannesburg headquarters, while Anglo American has a corporate global headcount of 1,000 workers.  If one adds middle management based at its mining operations, SS has a South African leadership team of about 137 people.  CEO Neal Froneman has focused much of his attention on removing hierarchies and making management more centralised.  Asked whether management was stretched, SS spokesman James Wellsted said:  "No, absolutely not.”  He added that Froneman and the rest of management were taking the rise in fatalities hard.  Some analysts argue that SS’s need to rein in debt of R23bn has come with a lot of cost-cutting, which probably means that staff in its headquarters and its operations are hard-pressed to meet production targets and management is stretched too thin.  Makwe Masilela of Makwe Fund Managers said the question was whether Sibanye had enough safety personnel.

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