These are trying times in the SA mining sector, and particularly for the platinum industry. Minerals Council SA has estimated that 90,000 of 168,000 jobs — 54% of the platinum’s sector’s employment — are at risk.

After Sibanye-Stillwater announced plans to cut 5,270 jobs from the mines it acquired from Lonmin, mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe criticised the mining sector’s plan to implement large-scale retrenchments amid a struggling economy. In the second quarter alone, 36,000 mining jobs were lost. The question arises — should companies bear the burden of protecting unprofitable jobs, or should the government bear the burden of protecting the people?..

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