UPDATE 1-SAfrica govt, Amplats, unions agree to postpone job cuts

Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:07pm EST

JOHANNESBURG Jan 28 (Reuters) - South Africa, Anglo American Platinum and labour unions have agreed to postpone a restructuring exercise that could lead to 14,000 job cuts to allow for more talks, the minerals department said.

"The parties resolved to postpone the continuation of the ... process ... to allow for a detailed consultation process to take place," the department said on Monday, adding this should take no more than 60 days from Jan. 30.

"The tripartite members recommitted to engage constructively for the benefit of all stakeholders and will communicate progress updates as and when appropriate," it said.

Mining minister Susan Shabangu said the world's biggest producer of platinum betrayed government trust earlier this month by announcing a plan to mothball shafts and lay off workers under a restructuring by parent company Anglo American .

Last week, President Jacob Zuma said the government needed to engage with gold and platinum mining firms about proposed shaft closures and lay-offs, and was not threatening them with licence reviews.

South Africa boasts 80 percent of the world's platinum deposits. Producers have been hit by rising input costs, falling prices, safety stoppages and violent labour unrest.

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