Aurora makes ‘last and final’ payment to miners

2010-12-15 17:02

Embattled gold mining firm Aurora Empowerment Systems says its payment of just over R2 million to its miners is the last and final payment.

The Department of Labour paid 240 miners at Grootvlei mine in Springs, East Rand, on behalf of Aurora today.

It was the beginning of a process to pay 1 400 miners out of R2 032 000 paid into the department’s account by Aurora.

Segothali Lerotholi, Department of Labour spokesperson, said Aurora was complying with the department’s compliance order to pay the miners their dues.

“We paid 240 miners amounts ranging from R12 000 downwards as part of the compliance order. We were supposed to pay all the miners, but the money was delivered after 12:30pm and we could not finish.

“The rest will be paid from tomorrow and Friday,” she said.

Aurora spokesperson Thulani Ngubane said the payment meant that the firm would have settled its debt to the miners. “This is the last and final payment. Those who have a legitimate payment claim must go to the department of labour to get paid. The department will run the checks and make payment if the claim is legitimate, because there are those who never worked for us who will try their luck,” Ngubane said.

However, Lesiba Seshoka, NUM spokesperson, dismissed the R2 million payment as nothing but a drop in the ocean. He added that there were 2 400 miners at Grootvlei and not 1 400.

“To us what they are trying to do is absolutely nothing. That money is too little. What about the provident fund monies that were deducted and never paid over?

“We want to see all our workers paid, because they waited 14 months and they can’t wait any more. The total owed by Aurora is R15 million,” he said.

Seshoka said it was very sad that Aurora directors and liquidators would be having sushi while miners would not even afford bread – especially in the festive season.

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