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Union warns Sibanye Gold job losses could hit more than 10,200

South Africa's Solidarity trade union said that job losses resulting from Sibanye Gold Ltd.'s retrenchment plan could climb to more than 10,200 as the miner's Beatrix West and Cooke operations also employ about 2,400 contractors, fin24 reported Aug. 6.

Previously, Sibanye flagged that up to 7,400 jobs may be affected as it looks to restructure these loss making gold projects.

Meanwhile, another some 365 employees have yet to be placed as part of an earlier scaling-down process, while about 50 people in management positions will be affected by an unrelated process due to the separation between Sibanye's South Africa operations and its U.S. interests.

"In recent management reshufflings at some of the shafts that had been profitable in the past, the company replaced competent management teams with inexperienced management teams and that immediately resulted in losses," Solidarity Secretary General Gideon du Plessis was quoted as saying by the report.

Du Plessis said huge retrenchments will have disastrous social consequences and this will prompt many unemployed miners to turn to illegal mining activities, which could lead to major unrest.

The union and the National Union of Mineworkers have called on the government to help save jobs with the Chamber of Mines responding back saying that the mining sector is becoming increasingly difficult to operate as the industry suffered an accumulative net loss of around 50 billion South African rand between 2014 and 2016.

Meanwhile, between 2012 and 2016 about 70,000 jobs have been lost in the South African mining industry, the report noted.