South Africa weighs fate of 300,000 jobs
Saturday 08 May 1999
For a country in which the daily gold price and the value of the rand are everyday concerns, the British announcement came as a new blow to a beleaguered economy. An analyst at Johannesburg-based Rice Rinaldi Securities said: "The industry has already largely completed its restructuring in response to the decline in the gold price so this is not the end of the world. However, if the trend continues and the price breaks the $270 barrier, then marginal mines with high production costs will look again at their staffing levels. I think the market will recover but this was not kind of Britain," said the analyst.
There was some criticism in South Africa of the Treasury's move to announce the forthcoming sale a long time in advance of the first auction, thus deepening anxiety in an already jittery market.
"Two years ago, Australia made a sale and only later announced it, thus delaying the traders' reaction until the metal had actually been sold," said the Rice Rinaldi analyst.
Year-on-year gold production in South Africa has been falling since 1996 and about 170,000 miners are estimated to be working in unprofitable pits.
There is concern about the referendum in Switzerland last month whose outcome points to a forthcoming end to the country's long-held peg to gold.
Furthermore, South Africa is ambivalent over International Monetary Fund discussions to sell gold so as to finance debt relief for the third world.
Thirty-one of the world's 41 poorest nations are African and the South African government has chosen to support the principle of debt relief.
But as the world's largest gold producer - and amid claims that debt relief will not ease grassroots poverty - South Africa's heart is not in it.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 4 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Peaches Geldof cause of death: Socialite had taken fatal dose of heroin after years of addiction, inquest concludes
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £25K: SThree: SThree Group has been well estab...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...