A SATCAP study completed over the 2019/2020 period titled Full Modernisation Impact Assessment found that modernisation would result in changes to the output, structure and methodologies of jobs, thereby influencing mines’ hierarchical and reporting structures. Thus, this study aims to understand jobs lost in the last three years in the sector, as well as the associated levels, skills and designations. Additionally, the study will aim to understand the multiplier effect and the post-mining job options for displaced/ex-mine employees.

Research and development

The research team conducted an impact assessment aimed at understanding jobs lost in the last three years in the mining sector and the associated levels, skills and designations; the multiplier effect (mining jobs impact on the economy); and the post-mining job options of ex-mine employees.

A qualitative approach was adopted, comprising document and literature reviews, a case study, key stakeholder inputs and the development of a jobs impact framework.

Limitations entailed challenges in accessing the relevant information due to confidentiality and sensitivity of the data. Data was however obtained through a single case study (from a multi-commodity mine) to get an understanding of job losses in the last three years, post mining job options for ex-mine employees, and towards inputs on the multiplier effect ratio.

This study took place under the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa.


The following high-level findings have become evident from the study:

  • While studies exist regarding the multiplier effect, a ratio is not evident. However a ratio of 1:14 is provided – further studies may be required to confirm this finding;
  • The job options of ex-mine employees have been considered, and recommendations made for job options within the sectors of agriculture, construction, renewable energy and entrepreneurship, amongst others;
  • Stimulation of localisation to create jobs is essential;
  • Data gathering from stakeholders indicated that modernisation does have an impact on job losses currently; however, there are no concrete quantitative data available to support this. But it may be a fair assumption that modernisation may have an influence on retrenchments;
  • From the proposed Jobs Impact Framework, it is evident that greater focus on job preservation and a support for new job creation and job transfer is necessary, as mining modernises.
Courtesy: Minerals Council South Africa

The research team developed a Jobs Impact Framework as a key output from this study. The framework is intended to assist stakeholders to determine the impact that various situations will likely have on jobs.


Study Completed

Research partners

Enterprises University of Pretoria


To read a detailed summary of the research report, click here.