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Retrenchments after ‘mud push’ at city mine

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The re-opening of the mine will be a “costly, long and slow process”

Picture: Soraya Crowie

Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (KEM-JV) has confirmed that around 150 employees might be facing retrenchment.

It was reported yesterday that the company’s Bultfontein Mine had been closed following a recent “mud push”.

According to the company, the re-opening of the mine will be a “costly, long and slow process”.

Yesterday, Gert Klopper, the company’s spokesperson, confirmed that KEM-JV “was regrettably in a position that it could no longer avoid issuing employees with a Section 189 Notification in terms of the Labour Relations Act (dismissals based on operational requirements)”.

The notices were Section 189 notices were issued late last week.

“Although the mud push was not the only reason for these retrenchments becoming necessary, it certainly contributed by nullifying all attempts up until then, such as reducing numbers through natural attrition, to avoid having to retrench employees.”

Klopper added that it was projected that around 150 employees might be affected. “The aim of the Section 189 process is to mitigate the impacts of retrenchment, and this number is therefore not final.”

He added that the different parties to the consultation process met on Tuesday for the first time, for an information session, and agreed to involve an independent outside party, in the form of the CCMA, to facilitate the process.

Cornelius Manhe, National Union of Mineworkers Kimberley Regional Secretary, said yesterday that the union had been notified and was involved in the process. “We have applied to the CCMA to act as a facilitator and we are waiting for a date for this to happen.”