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Gold Fields could lay off 6,900 workers because of power cuts

Gold Fields could lay off 6,900 workers because of power cuts

Africa's second largest gold producer may lay off 6,900 workers because of electricity shortages in South Africa, according to a company statement Monday.
The Gold Fields Ltd. statement forecast a decline in production of up to 25 percent in the first quarter of the year _ production was suspended for a week in January because of power cuts. Gold Fields also predicted a decline of up to 20 percent in the next quarter because of a 10 percent power reduction imposed by the state utility.
Mining companies across the country were forced to shut down for five days last month after the state electricity supplier, Eskom, could not provide steady power. Mines are now receiving 90 percent of their normal power supply, a situation that is expected to last the next four years.
The government has blamed rising demand and cheap prices for its power problems, though conceded it ignored warnings 10 years ago that more investment in power generating facilities was needed.
Last week, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced what he described as a "loan" of 60 billion rands (US$8 billion) over the next five years to help Eskom overcome the supply crisis.


Updated : 2021-04-18 16:37 GMT+08:00