The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has confirmed that General Motors (GM) has issued a notice of retrenchment, which will result in 600 job losses at their Struandale Port Elizabeth plant by July.

The motor company issued a retrenchment notice to the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in terms of section 189 and section 189A of the Labour Relations Act.

NUMSA said in a statement that GM had confirmed the numbers and issued lay-off notices as required by law.

“The company has confirmed that out of a total workforce of 1500 people‚ close to 600 workers are to be retrenched by July 2017. In reality this is more likely to lead to over a thousand job losses in the sector‚ particularly as the closure of GM will impact negatively on companies along the value chain‚” Numsa said.

General Motors announced its plans to disinvest in South Africa and it’s local operations, and sell it’s manufacturing plant to Isuzu Motors.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies expressed confidence that recent announced investments in Coega should save jobs in automotive production in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area, and that anticipated investments and localisation by the remaining vehicle producers will have a positive effect going forward.