The mine has been the epicentre for Implats’ labour unrest even in the past. Currently, there are about 4500 people working in the Marula mine, including contractors.

Implats stated in spite of engaging with stakeholders to resolve issues and restore operations, there have been community protest actions.

The company stated that the restructuring could impact as many as 1000 jobs at the mine. The formal process has been initiated by this March end and could continue till the end of this financial year.

In the recent years, protests have become common in the country. Often these outbursts of violence are the result of dissatisfaction over poor government services. Such community protests resulted in road blocks and violence disrupted production, where employees were prevented from reaching the mine.

In an interview to Business Day, Imapala Platinum CEO Gerhard Potgieter said: "This is something the business and economy can ill afford, but remains imperative if we are to protect the financial viability of our business and preserve jobs as far as possible.”

Production at the company dropped 43% from 390,000 tonnes, last March to 221,000 tonnes and this resulted in 47% fall in platinum production, from 17,000oz to 9,000oz.

Its full year production guidance is maintained at 1.5 million ounces of refined platinum ounces at ZAR22600/oz ($1695), which increased from ZAR22200/oz ($1665).