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Business|Mining|Platinum|Services|Surface|Operations
Business|Mining|Platinum|Services|Surface|Operations
business|mining|platinum|services|surface|operations

Bakubung employees undertake illegal sit-in in latest blow to Wesizwe

7th December 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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JSE-listed Wesizwe Platinum says employees have embarked on an illegal sit-in at the Bakubung platinum mine, in North West, since the morning of December 6.

Employees chose not to return to surface at the end of their shifts, with demands having been made by the participating employees.

Wesizwe says its management is meeting with local union representatives with the purpose of returning all employees back to surface.

At the end of November, Wesizwe’s share price fell by more than 13% after the company announced that its subsidiary Bakubung Minerals would start consultations with organised labour and other stakeholders on the possible restructuring of the mine operations.

This follows board approval of changes from a hybrid mining method to bord and pillar mining at Bakubung, which will result in a reduced number of employees being needed to establish and maintain the required production profile in the business plan.

The need to reduce headcount is being compounded by the downturn in the mining industry, as well as a recent five-week unprotected strike by employees which adversely affected the mine development progress at Bakubung.

Wesizwe said up to 571 employees could potentially be retrenched, since continuing with the current headcount of 761 employees would not be reasonable if Bakubung is to be placed on a path of profitability and growth.

The mine has already stopped overtime and weekend work and did not renew contracts of mining contract services and fixed-term contracts of noncritical staff. It also placed a moratorium on the recruitment of noncore and critical staff with the aim of reducing the bloated structure that causes inefficiencies.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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