Q&A: Dineo Faku interviews chief executive Chris Griffith

Are the problems facing Angloplat company- or industry-specific?

For a number of years the platinum industry has been faced with a reduction of profitability, as a result of structural challenges in the platinum industry. The structural challenges include above inflation cost increases, which have been rising by 14 percent annually. The other challenge is the slow demand, there is an oversupply of platinum. This is not affecting Angloplat only.

What other alternatives were there for Angloplat?

We considered staying the same and cutting capital in the business but that would make the business unviable when the economy changed. We also considered the sale of certain assets, but we needed to keep the assets for when the economy improves, so the firm can grow.

What message are you sending to the government?

The platinum sector is in financial trouble and a number of shafts are operating at a loss. We have to make a difference, that is why we have come up with a social plan.We have allocated R800 million for the social plan because we have empathy with social conditions in the areas. We think jobs will be created through infrastructure development in the Rustenburg area. We also think that our Zimele Small Business Development will create jobs.

Will the decision to shut mines and retrench 14 000 employees add to tensions in Rustenburg?

We will do everything we can to make sure our staff follow the consultation process. We ask all stakeholders to play their part, and urge unions to engage with us as part of the Labour Relations Act requirements.