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Pretoria – The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) will from Friday facilitate negotiations between Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the government and unions over mitigating job cuts.

In a joint statement on Tuesday night, the three parties announced that after consultations, the proposed restructuring by Amplats has now been referred to the CCMA to find ways to soften the impact of the mining company’s plans on jobs and the economy.

This comes after Amplats announced in January its plans to review its business in response to challenges in the platinum sector, plans that would lead to 14 000 jobs being shed. The company would do this by shutting down operations at four of its shafts, a majority of those in Rustenburg.

Following widespread criticism and intervention by Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, the platinum mine agreed to sit around one table to discuss its restructuring plans, and this led to the company down-scaling its projected job cuts to 6 000.

In a joint-statement on Tuesday, the parties said: “The parties spent the past week engaging on interventions to reduce the impact of restructuring on mineworkers.

“This process has now reached a stage whereby parties have agreed on measures and mitigation plans that will preserve jobs.

“[Amplats], government and the Unions will seek to resume the structured process under the auspices of the CCMA on Friday 24 May. The basis of the structured process will be informed by this agreement.”

When Amplats first announced its plans in January, it had initially invited the CCMA to facilitate negotiations, but that invite was put on ice to allow consultations.

Come Friday, the Departments of Mineral Resources and Labour, Amplats, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), UASA and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) will spend hours behind closed doors in a bid to mitigate the proposal.

“All parties worked diligently with the department to get to this point and agree that the measures will serve as a basis for meaningful consultation with employees and their representative structures.

“The parties are committed to ensuring a sustainable platinum mining industry that will contribute positively to the South African economy.” -