Daily Maverick

Gold Fields to cut 1,100 jobs at South African unit

Gold Fields, one of the oldest goldminers in South Africa, on Tuesday announced plans to slash 1,100 jobs, or nearly a third of the full-time workforce, at a loss-making unit.

It said the unit, South Deep, had experienced difficulties since it was acquired by Gold Fields in 2006, including a failure to meet production targets and rising operational and overhead costs.

South Deep mines has incurred four billion rand ($283 million) in losses over the past five years.

As part of its restructuring, the company intends to lay off more than 1,000 permanent and casual workers, while 460 contract workers “could also be potentially impacted.”

The mine, situated some 70 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Johannesburg, has a workforce of 3,614 full-time employees and 1,940 contractors.

With operations also in Australia, Ghana and Peru, the Johannesburg-listed company is the world’s number seven largest producer of bullion.

In 2012, Gold Fields sold most of its mines in South Africa to Sibanye-Stillwater.

Gold Fields’ plans to cut jobs come less than two weeks after giant South African platinum miner Implats said it would slash some 13,000 jobs and reduced the number of shafts operating there from 11 to six.

Job cuts are politically sensitive in South Africa, where more than a quarter of the workforce are unemployed. DM

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