File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - Anglo American Platinum's (Amplats) restructuring plans should be stopped, United Democratic Movement president Bantu Holomisa said on Wednesday.

“The ramifications for our people, especially the poor, and the country’s economy are unacceptable,” he said in a statement.

This followed the company's announcement on Tuesday that up to 14,000 people could be retrenched or retrained in a restructuring programme.

Holomisa said he believed the company “never supported a black-led government”, proving this by de-listing from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“With their unbundling only a few of the ruling party’s senior members benefited. They are now multi-millionaires, whilst millions have nothing.”

Company management in London would not be affected - only workers in the lower income bracket.

“Why do they not restructure Anglo’s management and use that money to save jobs and narrow the gap between the remuneration of managers and miners,” he said.

The UDM supported a call for an investigation into whether Amplats and its parent company had complied with the country's mineral rights regulations.

If it did not want to operate in South Africa in a mutually beneficial manner, it must surrender its mining licence.

“The message to head office in Britain should be clear, enough is enough, South Africa will no longer brook this one-way traffic,” Holomisa said.

“This restructuring proposal of theirs is morally bankrupt and Anglo cannot be allowed to ruin the lives of 14,000 South Africans, their extended families and their communities.” - Sapa