Mantashe blames Gold Fields management for South Deep hit

SA mines minister, Gwede Mantashe

SOUTH African mines minister, Gwede Mantashe, laid the blame for proposed job cuts at Gold Fields’ South Deep mine, west of Johannesburg, on the mining firm’s top management.

Reuters quoted Mantashe as saying restructuring at South Deep, which had booked Gold Fields R100m per month in cash losses, was “poor management”. Gold Fields said on 8 August that up to 1,560 jobs would be affected at South Deep after it decided to cut back on costs at the mine, considered the last major unmined gold asset in South Africa.

“Gold Fields is sitting on the second biggest gold deposit in a mine in the world,” Mantashe, told Reuters. “Going for job cuts is the easy way out. The real problem is poor management,” he added.

“We want to support them, but they come to us after making these announcements. It is deviant behaviour,” said Mantashe of Gold Fields and Impala Platinum which said earlier this month that it wanted to make a 30% cut to production from its Rustenburg shafts – a development that would affect up to 13,000 jobs over the next two years.