South Africa

ArcelorMittal to cut 3,500 jobs in South Africa

ArcelorMittal South Africa will shut its long steel products business and cut as many as 3,500 jobs, citing a moribund economy. 

The unit will be placed in care and maintenance, the company said in a filing on Tuesday.

The Newcastle Works, the Vereeniging Works, and rolling facilities, which use Newcastle material as feedstock, will be the affected plants, according to the statement. 

ArcelorMittal’s shares plunged as much as 6.6% at 9:39 a.m. in Johannesburg.

“The ArcelorMittal South Africa board and management have reached this point after having exhausted all possible options,” CEO Kobus Verster said in the statement.

“We have a duty to ensure that the business remains sustainable in the long term, in the interests of the company and its stakeholders.”

South Africa has been haemorrhaging jobs as state-run logistics and power companies fail to keep up with demand. Companies, including Anglo American and Sibanye Stillwater, are also firing workers.

The cuts would be another blow to the electoral prospects of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ruling African National Congress.