Eskom price hike to cost South Africa 90,000 mining jobs: Minerals Council (Reuters U.S. – March 25, 2019)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s gold and platinum mines will shed around 90,000 jobs in the next three years as above-inflation electricity price increases by power utility Eskom add to already soaring operating costs, an industry body said on Monday.

“In total, as many as 90,222 jobs would be at risk solely as a result of the MYPD4 tariff increases granted by Eskom,” the Minerals Council South Africa said in a presentation.

Job cuts are politically sensitive in Africa’s most industrialized economy where a quarter of the labor force is unemployed, while power outages and steep price increases by Eskom are set to hurt an already fragile growth outlook.

In February, miner Sibanye-Stillwater said it planned to cut nearly 6,000 jobs in a restructuring of its gold mining operations, while Gold Fields said last year it could slash 1,100 jobs, and Impala Platinum plans to cut its workforce by a third.

Labor unions have threatened strikes over the job cuts at mining firms as well planned reductions at a numerous state-owned companies.

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