News / South Africa

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
25 Feb 2018
4:47 pm

Gupta-owned Koornfontein Coal Mine fails to pay workers

Citizen Reporter

NUM says workers will not return to work on Monday until their salaries are paid.

Koornfontein Coal Mine in Mpumalanga has reportedly become the second Gupta-owned mine that has failed to pay the salaries of its workers this month.

This after workers at Optimum Coal Mine, another coal mine owned by the controversial family in the province, downed tools since Wednesday to demand their salaries, and were also demanding answers about the future of the mine, reportedly being placed under business rescue.

According to media reports, optimum failed to pay workers, citing banking problems after the Bank of Baroda announced it was ceasing to do business in South Africa.

EWN reports that members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at the Koornfontein Coal Mine said management had promised to pay them on Sunday morning after the company failed to pay them on Friday, but they remained unpaid.

NUM said workers would march on Monday and would only return to work until their salaries were paid.

“It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this. So whatever is going on now we are seeking to get clarity and we are hoping that from the march tomorrow we will get answers because so far we have not been able to get answers from the employer.

“We are hoping that by embarking on this march tomorrow we will get clarity on whatever is happening”, NUM branch secretary Sibusiso Mahlangu told EWN.

Meanwhile, parliament’s mineral resources portfolio committee on Saturday expressed grave concern at the latest developments at Optimum coal mine.

Committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said the committee received a letter from NUM requesting its intervention in the ongoing impasse.

The situation at Optimum mine was reminiscent of the events that occurred leading up to the Aurora mine disaster. There, workers were not paid for several months before the mine was shut down and its assets stripped by the owners, he said.

“It cannot be allowed under this government dispensation that workers are made to bear the brunt while the owners walk away unscathed,” Luzipo said.

– Additional reporting (African News Agency)


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