NUM said that they will down tools on Friday after Gold Fields announced that they were letting go of 1 100 workers from its South Deep operation. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya.

CAPE TOWN - The National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) said on Thursday that they will down tools on Friday, after Gold Fields announced that they were letting go of 1 100 workers from its South Deep operation.

Gold Fields said that they needed to reduce its workforce as part of its restructuring efforts “to stem South Deep’s significant cash losses and consolidate current operations”. 

“We are very concerned about the further impact that industrial action will have on the mine - and on our employees, with potentially more job losses,” chief executive Nick Holland said.

Gold Fields employs approximately 3 600 people, the company said in August but also added that their South Deep operations has lost R4 billion over the past five years.

THE WRITING WAS ON THE WALL

Last month, Holland, told shareholders that getting impatient over the company’s failure to stem losses at the South Deep deposit did not help and that they shouldn’t lose hope.

South Deep’s disappointing performance has been a drag on the company for years and management is aware that investors are getting fed up, Holland said in an interview.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE