De Beers cuts workforce by 4 700 this year

Diamond Giant De Beers has cut its global workforce by 23%, or 4 700 positions, this year so far, group managing director Gareth Penny said on Friday.

“We believe the majority of reductions will be permanent,” said Penny, adding that the reductions included contractors.

De Beers confirmed in January that it had started consultations with trade unions over job cuts at its six South African operations.

The group, which then employed 3 500 people in South Africa, said it would only know how many people would be affected by the job cuts once formal consultations get under way at each site.

Reports suggested that the diamond giant was planning to cut about 1 415 positions, or about 40% of its South African workforce.

The reduction in its global workforce has been part of the group’s strategy to enhance operating efficiencies.

Other efficiencies have been achieved through a de-layering of the organisation, and a reduction in the activities of the corporate centres.

“It is anticipated that the majority of the efficiencies will be permanent, even as the market trends upward,” De Beers said. — I-Net Bridge

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Sherilee Bridge
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