‘Our men work hard but they are hungry’

2012-08-18 18:42

Busiwe Falo says sometimes her husband comes back home so tired he doesn’t even have the energy to eat.

He is one of the striking mineworkers at Lonmin who are demanding that their salaries be increased from R4 000 a month to R12 500.

“Our men are hungrymen. They are dying underground and they are sick from this work. They must be paid what is fair,” said Falo, who hails from Idutywa in the Eastern Cape.

Her husband earns R4 000 a month.

 They live in a shack in Nkaneng, for which they pay R600 rent a month.

She says that despite her husband’s back-breaking toil, life remains an uphill battle.

“Our menworkhard but they are hungry. We are also hungry. As I speak to you now, we have no
paraffin, no food in our home. That is why I came out here to show support for our men,” she said as a group of women marched and sang, carrying placards to throw their weight behind the strike.

Palesa Kgwarela said her father had worked on the mines in Rustenburg for the past 34 years – and still earned just R6 500 a month.

She is the first-born of seven children and said life was so hard that she struggled to get even the most basic of things, such as school shoes.

“We live in a two-roomed shack, all nine of us. My father is coughing a lot because of this work. If
things remain like this it means I will not be able to get a good education.”

Most of the women interviewed said their husbands suffered from back pains and respiratory ailments as a result of their work underground.

It is only fair, they said, that their hard work be rewarded accordingly.

But it seems the physical problems run deeper.

Said a woman who refused to be named: “They come back home so tired they don’t even want us to touch them at night.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.