Shares in Anglo American Platinum have continued to drop dramatically following the firm’s announcement that it will cut less than half the jobs it planned to axe.
Amplats, the world’s top platinum producer wants to shed 6,000 South African mining jobs, fewer than half the 14,000 initially proposed as it tries to restore profits without provoking a backlash from the government and restive unions.
Tensions remain high after violence rooted in a labour turf war between unions killed more than 50 people last year and spared illegal strikes that hit production.
The unrest was a major reason why Amplats suffered its first loss last year. But with unemployment at more than 25 percent, the government has taken a strong line with Amplats.
The average South African mine-worker has eight dependents, so the social and political consequences even of reduced lay-offs will be far reaching.