General Motors plans to cut nearly 600 jobs as it pulls out of South Africa

Rebecca Smith
GM said last week it will stop selling vehicles in India too
GM said last week it will stop selling vehicles in India too (Source: Getty)

General Motors plans to cut 589 employees in South Africa amid restructuring plans that will result in the car giant pulling out of the country.

South Africa manufacturing union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), said hundreds of workers at GM South Africa will lose their jobs by July, after a decision announced last week by the car firm to sell its local operations there. There are currently 1,500 staff at the car maker's South African operation.

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A spokeswoman for GM said: "It is anticipated that approximately 589 employees will potentially be impacted by the proposed restructuring. This number is not final and is subject to the consultation process with employees and their representative organisations."

She added that GM can't provide further details until the consultation process has been completed.

When the initial announcement was made, NUMSA said in a statement: "As a trade union we are surprised that GM chose to convey this announcement in this way. There was no consultation with the union, and furthermore, the company has not divulged any details about the fate of its employees affected by this restructuring."

It said the closure of South African operations will also have a "major impact" for firms along the value chain too.

Last week, GM announced its plans to stop selling vehicles in India by the end of the year and will be selling its operations in South Africa.

It will take a $500m (£385m) charge in the second quarter to restructure operations in India, Africa and Singapore.

"As the industry continues to change, we are transforming our business, establishing GM as a more focused and disciplined company,” said GM chairman and chief executive Mary Barra. “We are committed to deploying capital to higher return initiatives that will enable us to lead in our core business and in the future of personal mobility."

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