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South African gold mining faces terminal woes

Monday, December 17, 2018

Significance

The disruption at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold mines reflects wider turmoil in the gold mining sector, including a 13th consecutive month of production decline in October. Meanwhile, electricity prices, wage demands and strikes are increasing.

Impacts

  • Gold mining job losses are unlikely to be adequately absorbed by other sectors due to use of new technology and stagnant national growth.
  • Each gold mining job supports over five dependents, meaning near-term job losses could provoke increased social strife ahead of 2019 polls.
  • While short-term job losses may have a muted impact on annual growth, 100,000 job losses over the next decade will prove more debilitating.
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