Sibanye-Stillwater's Beatrix gold mine. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - The United Association of South Africa (Uasa) will resist job cuts at mining company Sibanye-Stillwater "tooth and nail", the trade union said on Sunday.

"A substantial number of Uasa members employed at mining company Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold operations have received section 189 notices," Uasa spokesman Stanford Mazhindu said in a statement.

"Uasa is part of the section 189 process at Sibanye-Stillwater and will have to find a way to sugar coat the bitter pill of possible retrenchment for our workers. We will resist the job cuts tooth and nail."

South Africa already ranked among the worst in the world in terms of unemployment figures and retrenched workers would simply add to the woes of an already desperate situation. 

Despite the somewhat improved employment figures announced this week by Statistics SA, the economy clearly did not have the capacity to absorb work seekers or to safeguard existing jobs.

"As poor economic growth figures further inhibit employment creation it is the workers’ heads on the butcher’s block. Uasa will interrogate Sibanye-Stillwater’s rationale for the intended retrenchments and will make presentations to the company in this regard.

"We intend to influence the company’s selection criteria according to which employees are to be declared redundant and will creatively explore ways and means to minimise redundancies, like the placement of affected employees elsewhere in the company," Mazhindu said.

African News Agency (ANA)