JOHANNESBURG - Evander Gold Mine, a subsidiary of Pan African Resources, is set to retrench 1722 mineworkers in Mpumalanga.

 The miner has served the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) with Section 189(3) notice of the Labour Relations Act to retrench the workers. 

The company informed NUM that the retrenchments were as a result of an old mine with deteriorating and inadequate infrastructure, high operating costs such as rising electricity, labour costs, and a low gold price. 

“NUM is shocked and saddened by Evander Gold Mine’s intention to retrench 1722 mineworkers in Mpumalanga,” the union said yesterday. 

The company has a total workforce of 1812. NUM said that it was totally opposed to these retrenchments. 

“The retrenchment of 1722 perma­nent workers is bad, given the fact that the majority support 10 people per family, which means that a lot of people will be negatively affected,” it said. 

The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 states the following: “The holder of a mining right must, after consultation with any registered trade union or affected employees or their nominated representatives where there is no such trade union, notify the Minister in the prescribed manner - (a) where prevailing economic conditions cause the profit to revenue ratio of the relevant mine to be less than 6percent on average for a continuous period of 12months; or (b) if any mining operation is to be scaled down or to cease with the possible effect that 10percent or more of the labour force or more than 500 employees, whichever is the lesser, are likely to be retrenched in any 12-month period.”.