Sibanye jobs bloodbath continues – with 4,000 more on the line

Sibanye-Stillwater informed shareholders this morning that it will enter into more Section 189 consultations, with over 4,000 jobs on the line this time.

In a SENS announcement released today, the mining giant said it will enter into consultations in terms of Section 189A of the Labour Relations Act with organised labour and other representatives of affected non-unionised employees.

These consultations are regarding the proposed restructuring of Sibanye’s South African gold operations and its Southern Africa region services functions.

This comes after previous restructuring at Sibanye which concluded during 2023 and the first quarter of 2024 and saw thousands of job losses.

Sibanye said the ongoing group business review identified a need to address losses at two of its shafts.

The first is its Beatrix 1 shaft, which has been unable to deliver planned production. The second is the Kloof 2 plant which, after the closure of the Kloof 4 shaft during 2023, has had insufficient processing material available to cover overheads. 

“The deferral of capital expenditure at the Burnstone project, announced in February 2024, also requires restructuring aligned with the reduction in planned capital activities,” Sibanye said.

The miner explained that the recent restructuring and closure of loss-making shafts and from proposed future restructuring or closures have led to a reduction in Sibanye’s operational footprint in South Africa.

This has resulted in the capacity of the direct and shared services functions for the South African region and operations being surplus to current and future requirements. 

“As a result, the company proposes a re-alignment of the regional services, shared services and direct services structures to align with the requirements of the reduced operational footprint,” Sibanye said. 

“This will reduce direct operational services costs and regional overhead costs which are allocated to the operations, thereby contributing to the sustainability of the South African region.”

Sibanye said the proposed restructuring of the operations and services could potentially affect 3,107 employees and 915 contractors.

Sibanye said the objective of the consultation process is to consider alternative measures to minimise job losses while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the mine’s local operations.

“We continue to act prudently to protect the balance sheet and ensure the sustainability of the group,” said CEO Neal Froneman. 

“We are committed to constructively engaging with affected employees and through their representatives to minimise job losses.”