The recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) shows that the mining sector is bleeding jobs.

According to the survey, an average of 35 000 jobs were lost in the mining industry between October and December 2017. Gauteng and Limpopo provinces led the blood bath, with each province losing 15 000 jobs. The only province that registered growth is Mpumalanga; with mines in the province creating an average of 12 000 new jobs in the last quarter of 2017.

Double jeopardy

The mining sector employs an estimated half a million people, making it one of the leading employers in the country. However, workers in the mining sector have come under the increased threat of mechanisation as well as the monopolisation of the industry.

“The process of capitalist firms swallowing up its competitors and intensifying the monopolisation of the economy is not good for workers,” AMCU’s President, Joseph Mathunjwa, warned. “This monopolisation concentrates power in the hands of a small group of capitalist bosses that use that power to drive home the restructuring of the company to further maximise their profits,” he added.

An example demonstrating the dangers of monopolisation is that of Sibanye-Stillwater’s announcement that it wants to buy Lonmin. If the deal goes through, over 12 600 jobs will be lost on the top of the 1 100  that are currently being shed at Lonmin.


21 February by Trust Matsilele