29 000 jobs have been lost in the mining industry between December 2014 and December 2015.
This is according to the Quarterly Employment Survey which revealed that there’s a 5.9% decrease in employment in the mining industry. Also, out of the 29, 000 jobs that were lost, 14, 000 were lost in four months between September and December 2015.
Reacting, Democratic Alliance (DA) stated that the job losses is just the beginning unless there’s a drastic change in the industry. “This trend is likely to continue if nothing is done to arrest pervasive uncertainty in the mining sector immediately,” DA wailed.
Indicating that each of the 29 000 workers who lost their jobs over the period has their family depending on them for support, the opposition party lashed out at the ruling party.
“The ANC government will, of course, blame global economic conditions. Although these factors play a role, the truth of the matter is that government has failed to provide much-needed leadership to mitigate the dire situation in which this sector currently finds itself.
To The DA, “the sector is under siege from every quarter.” And until the factors troubling the sector are “dealt with, we can expect further job losses, particularly in current economic conditions. Some estimates on imminent job losses are as high as 100 000,” the party warned.
They also, asserted that “the only job losses government can claim it has saved is an estimated 3 000 jobs at the Optimum colliery. This mine was in business rescue and on the brink of closure.
However, after it was bought by the Guptas, in a deal apparently negotiated by Minister of Mineral Resources Zwane himself on his now infamous trip to Switzerland, Eskom suddenly canceled its deal with Exxaro colliery and gave it to the now Gupta-owned Optimum instead.
If the mining industry, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on it for an income, are to survive, the government needs to stop looking for ways to line its own pockets, and those of the Guptas, and look to saving the industry as a whole instead,” DA advised.