The last institution you would have expected to shed employees should have been the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN). As a custodian of assets that belong to a tribe, it would have let the spirit of humanity (ubuntu) take precedence. But in an indication of the depth of the bad business environment in the volatile platinum belt, RBN has been compelled to take the hard choice of retrenchment in a desperate bid to cut costs.
As a result of the five-month wage strike, the RBN’s investment arm, Royal Bafokeng Holdings suffered massive losses. Royal Bafokeng’s exposure is through its stake in Impala Platinum.
To tackle the situation, Royal Bafokeng Holdings is seriously weighing up the options of either outright selling or leasing out some of its assets. Most likely to be disposed of are the stadium, hotel and the soccer team, Platinum Stars.
When pressed for comment on when the retrenchment would take place, a reliable source at the headquarters told Transform SA: “We are still weighing the option, but given the circumstances we are seriously considering it.”