Miners starve for fatcats

By Drum Digital
21 June 2010

HE WAS a fresh-faced 15-year-old when he arrived at the mine, full of hope for the future. Everyone knew mines were where the money was and he had dreams of making a good living and leading a comfortable life.

Fast-forward 40 years and there’s little left of the enthusiastic young guy Enos Malesela once was. Penniless and bitter, he sits slumped in a makeshift chair outside the rundown hostel he’s been staying in since he arrived here in 1971.

“I’ve lost hope,” he says. “I’m too ashamed to go home because I have nothing. All I want is the money the mine owes me. I have seven kids and a wife back in Limpopo but I can’t provide for them any longer.”

Enos is not alone. He and his 2 400 co-workers at the Grootvlei Mine in Springs on Gauteng’s East Rand have all been living hand-to-mouth since their salaries stopped earlier this year. It’s a scandal that has made national news headlines – particularly since the enterprise legally responsible for their wages, black empowerment management company Aurora Empowerment Systems, is headed by men from two of the most important families in the country.

The chairman of Aurora is Khulubuse Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s nephew and the managing director is Zondwa Gadaffi Mandela, grandson of Madiba and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The non-executive director is Michael Hulley, President Zuma’s lawyer.

Read the full article in the DRUM of 17 June 2010

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