Electricity Price Rises Will Devastate Gold Sector, Sibanye Warns

Sibanye-Stillwater says the double-digit electricity price increase undermines the viability of the country’s gold industry.

The power regulator on Thursday approved an effective 13.8% hike in tariffs by state-owned utility Eskom.

That’s higher than the 9% increase planned for by Sibanye, said James Wellsted, a spokesperson for SA’s biggest gold producer. “These kind of increases, well above inflation, pose a risk to the sustainability of the industry and to job creation,” Wellsted said.

Sibanye is already considering cutting more than 6,000 jobs at unprofitable gold shafts amid a four-month wage strike by thousands of workers.