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Implats' proposed restructuring puts 3 900 jobs at risk

An image of Implats CEO Nico Muller

Implats CEO Nico Muller

26th April 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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JSE-listed Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) has initiated a Section 189(3) consultation process at its South African operations, signalling thousands of potential job losses.

Implats envisages a reduction of about 3 900 positions, constituting a 9% reduction in labour across the Impala Rustenburg, Impala Bafokeng and Marula operations. The corporate office aims for a 30% reduction in head office costs.

The move by Implats follows in the wake of a restructuring process announced by rival Anglo American Platinum, which could impact 3 700 jobs across its operations.

“Platinum group metal (PGM) pricing has declined sharply since the start of 2023, which together with persistent inflationary pressures on input costs has resulted in significant pressure on profitability and cashflow across the entire PGM sector, our operations included.

“Global macroeconomic uncertainty and rising geopolitical tensions present additional downside risks to industry sustainability. As a result of these pressures, the group has assessed and revised its business planning parameters and contemplated various measures to optimise operational efficiencies and resources,” said Implats CEO Nico Muller on Friday.

Despite cost-saving, capital-deferment and voluntary labour-reduction initiatives, the sustained price decline has severely impacted Implats’ financial position, endangering job security for its workforce.

Muller emphasised that Implats was committed to a fair and transparent consultation process.

“No final decision has been taken regarding the proposed restructuring, and no final decision will be taken prior to full and proper consultation with affected employees, and their representatives, in compliance with the Labour Relations Act. During the consultation process, all viable alternatives suggested to job losses will be considered,” he said.

The objective of Implats’ operational and expenditure response to prevailing PGM price weakness was to ensure that each of its business units contributed sustainably and profitably through the fluctuations of PGM cycles, to ensure the long-term viability of the business and its significant commitments to its key stakeholders, the company said in a statement.

Implats has also issued a notice, as required, to the Minerals and Mining Development Board and engaged with the Minister of Minerals and Energy on the restructuring.

The group says it has conducted high-level engagements with its key stakeholders, in line with its stated commitment to constructive collaboration and proactive communication.

Edited by Mariaan Webb
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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