Today's Labour News

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platinumbarBusiness Times reports that some platinum group metals (PGM) producers are freezing recruitments for non-essential jobs and restructuring loss-making operations as they grapple with weaker metal prices, inflation, rising input costs and energy supply constraints.

According to Anglo American Platinum’s Nomonde Ndwalaza, the local industry has to deal with high input costs and energy and logistics constraints. “We anticipate this might lead to a headcount reduction in some head office functions in the businesses we operate and at group level. This work is already under way and the dynamic operating environment we find ourselves in requires us to approach these issues with urgency and diligence,” she indicated. The bleak PGM environment recently resulted in Northam Platinum abandoning its 18-month pursuit of Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat), while Sibanye-Stillwater last month announced plans to restructure its loss-making operations, a move that could affect 4,095 jobs. “Current indications are that the PGM market may remain under pressure for some time,” said Northam CEO Paul Dunne. Impala Platinum (Implats) spokesperson Johan Theron said PGM producers had to align their operational strategies to current metal prices to remain financially sustainable, however, labour cost optimisation did not imply mass-scale retrenchments.   “Presently, labour optimisation at Implats contemplates a range of interventions, including the deferment of annual management salary increases, recruitment freezes for non-essential jobs, natural attrition to realise lower staffing levels, organisational changes and voluntary separation incentives to employees who may already be contemplating leaving the organisation,” he explained.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Dineo Faku at Business Times (subscriber access only)

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