Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - Gold Fields’ plans to cut jobs to reduce costs is taking the “easy way out” and avoids tackling the real issue of poor management, mining minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday, piling pressure on chief executive Nick Holland.

Gold Fields, which is due to report half-year results later on Thursday, said this week it would cut 1 100 permanent jobs at its struggling South Deep mine, sending its shares plummeting.

“Gold Fields is sitting on the second biggest gold deposits in a mine in the world,” Mantashe told Reuters. “Going for job cuts is the easy way out. The real problem is poor management.”

South Deep, the company’s last South African asset, has faced operational obstacles in a tough geological setting 3 km below the surface and has lost R4 billion over the past five years.

In response, Gold Fields said on Thursday it would make further comments on the restructuring plan during its interim results presentation.