Picture Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is set to embark on a protest march to AngloGold Ashanti's head office in downtown Johannesburg on Saturday.

NUM spokesperson, Livhuwani Mammburu, said the march was against the company’s decision to issue a Section 189 process notice to retrench 8,500 workers at its operations in Matlosana and Carletonville regions.

In June,  AngloGold Ashanti said that it had started a consultation process with employees to retrench 8,500 workers at its South African operations. The company's South African operations employs about 28,000 people, including contractors.

Following the announcement, the NUM said it would would oppose AngloGold Ashanti’s retrenchment notice and called on the company to rethink its position to retrench.

Mammburu said their weekend protest march would will begin in Newtown at 10am and end at AngloGold headquarters in central Johannesburg. 

Meanwhile, Sibanye Gold announced on Thursday that it will enter into consultation with relevant stakeholders in terms of section 189A of the Labour Relations Act regarding restructuring of its gold operations pursuant to ongoing losses experienced at its Beatrix West and Cooke Operations. 

Also read: NUM to march against job cuts

Sibanye said approximately 7,400 Sibanye employees at all levels may be affected as a result of the proposed restructuring. 

The South African mining industry continues to be under significant economic and financial pressure, and as a result, mining companies have been compelled to restructure to ensure their survival. Between 2012 and 2016, the industry lost around 70,000 jobs as it struggled to remain viable.