In line with the government’s vision to create sustainable jobs, Transnet said yesterday that it had spent 3 percent of its total labour costs on training artisans, engineers and engineering technicians in the year to March.

Personnel costs increased by 14.6 percent to R16.6 billion after a wage increase and the filling of vacancies related to its market demand strategy.

Transnet said it had achieved its targets in all critical skills that were its focus for the year, except for sector-specific trainees where 79 percent of the target was achieved. The group also trained 429 protection officers in its School of Security. Transnet’s headcount decreased by 55 during the financial year as the company hired 2 450 people and terminated 2 505 employees’ contracts.

With capital expenditure of more than R300bn, Transnet will at the end of 2019 be able to conduct an impressive headcount of jobs created in its seven-year market demand strategy programme.

These are some of the efforts that the utility company is hoping to achieve in order to tick this box.

But are these sustainable jobs? Will these artisans, security officers and engineers be able to compete anywhere else in the world should their jobs be at risk?

Regarding broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE), Transnet spent R38.8bn of its total measurable procurement spend of R41.1bn on empowered suppliers, an increase from last year’s R33.4bn


It has also through its capital investment programme managed to accelerate its commitment to advancing various aspects of BEE, such as supplier development – especially through the localisation of production for imported equipment.


The world’s biggest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), would put its underperforming mines that were crippled by the five-month wage strike up for sale, Britain’s Sunday Times reported.

Production at Amplats’s Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Union mines was severely affected by industrial action that began on January 23.

The strike ended last week with the signing of an agreement in which the lowest paid employees will receive an increase of up to 20 percent.

Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole told Reuters yesterday: “We expect to provide further details at the interim results on July 21.”

Amplats’s parent company, Anglo American, has previously hinted at its intention to possibly dispose of some its ageing platinum assets in South Africa. The UK’s Sunday Times reported at the weekend that the Anglo board had agreed to a disposal programme at a strategy meeting last month, and $4 billion (R41.5bn) could be raised from the sales of the mines in the Rustenburg area.

The sell-off signals Anglo’s diminishing exposure to South Africa, where it has been an investor for nearly a century.

If the industry strike had the impact of a tsunami on the South African economy and the mining industry, the restructuring of mines will be the unavoidable aftermath likely to sweep the platinum belt.

The platinum belt has been grappling with rising input costs and stagnant prices for the metal. Neither the government nor pressure from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which led the strike, can halt the restructuring across the industry.

The questions are when the restructuring will start and who the likely buyers of aging mines will be?

Sibanye Gold, South Africa’s second-largest gold producer with a history of mining ageing reefs, is said to be a potential buyer. The company has said previously that it had approached platinum producers and at least one had indicated its willingness to sell.

Edited by Peter DeIonno. With contributions from Nompumelelo Magwaza and Dineo Faku.