M&R to axe 1400 workers

Kea' Modimoeng

Kea' Modimoeng

Job losses are on the rise in the mining sector in spite of interventions made by government as Murray & Roberts Cementation is said to be retrenching about 1400 workers.

In a letter to trade unions, the company said: "Murray & Roberts Cementation is a mining contracting company which is reliant on contracts from our clients in order to supply work to our employees.

"Due to the downward trend of commodity prices and the general economic situation, clients have advised on closure and downsizing of certain of their operations or projects, which ultimately impacts upon the company's order book."

Solidarity spokesman Jaco Kleynhans said there was a developing trend of retrenchments in contracting companies.

"What is extremely worrying is the large number of people losing their jobs because in consultation with the company we learnt that the number of retrenchments will go up to 1400," he said.

Murray & Roberts also slipped out of the JSE's top 40 index and will be replaced by Growthpoint, a property company.

According to the JSE, the main benefit to being included in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index is that it increases a company's visibility to investors and also attracts large investments through funds that track the index.

Solidarity has calculated the total number of planned retrenchments in South Africa to have risen to more than 24000.