The world’s top platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum, has announced it is cutting up to 14,000 South African miners’ jobs as part of a restructuring plan.
It is thought the move could trigger a repeat of last year’s strikes when around 50 people died.
The unrest was rooted in a union turf war and aggravated by income disparities within the industry and low wages for dangerous work.
If 14,000 jobs are lost, it will represent around three percent of South Africa’s mine labour force and set back government efforts to cut unemployment from over 25 percent.
Anglo American, which owns about 80 percent of Amplats, has seen demand and its fortunes fade in recent years and aims to cut output by around a fifth, or 400,000 ounces.