Miners stranded amid heavy rains

2013-01-19 17:59

Johannesburg - Around 85 Harmony Gold miners in Carletonville were left stranded after their temporary shelter was left flooded by heavy rains on Saturday's rains.

Their representative, Sthembile Nqulo, said the Wedela Roman Catholic Church they had been living in for the last week was drenched in water.

"The clothes and blankets are wet... We have no idea what we are going to do tonight," said Nqulo.

He said the miners had been experiencing shelter problems since the mine announced it was shutting its gates and sent them packing on 3 January.

Around 600 miners would be retrenched and the mine locked them out of the hostel.

The mine reported that it was shutting its Kusasalethu mine because of safety and security reasons.

Some mineworkers who were not from Johannesburg took refuge in the Wedela High School but were forced to evacuate when schools re-opened last week.

"We have been looking for help everywhere but we are not getting any... We hope that the media can help us," said Nqulo.

The SA Weather Service said the downpours were expected to continue throughout the weekend.

Meanwhile, mine management met with the National Union of Mineworkers, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa on Thursday for talks about the retrenchments.

The meeting was facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

The next facilitation would happen on 29 January.

  • Erna - 2013-01-19 18:35

    How can they be called Harmony Gold miners if they don't work for them anymore?

  • rollingstone.kanyane - 2013-01-19 18:36

    blind loyality you can go vote ANC again it is better life for all

      sandra.j.rennie - 2013-01-19 23:00

      Well when the Mine housed you lot in their hostels, you didn't appreciate it. So take a hike or stand in the rain. You people appreciate nothing ! So if you don't like standing in the rain - go home ! Why should everyone help you. You lot are always looking for bloody handouts. No one told you to strike ! Get over it ! You got what you asked for ! Heavens talk about Stupidity at its Best !

      peter.vanzyl.948 - 2013-01-20 11:53

      @jack trend.BUT,They Are NOT WHITE!! Whites understand that their jobs are secure for only as long as they are productive - NOT DESTRUCTIVE!!Stop the Race issue Idiot! Its because they CANNOT REASON that they are stuck in the rain!! REASON says = Go HOME, you will be dry and fed!

      jack.trend.3 - 2013-01-20 16:48

      There is no money at home. There is no money to get home. What part do you not get? You think they all wanted to strike? How can you be so naive? These poor people are but a victim of the latest politics.

  • JohnDough - 2013-01-19 19:00

    Go back home then! How dumb can they be?

      jack.trend.3 - 2013-01-19 19:32

      it is a lot of money for them, to go back home. Not their fault they didn't get the message.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2013-01-19 23:03

      Jack Trend, they seem to get messages to Strike, Plunder etc. But when messages are sent out that the hostels are locked, suddenly they don't get it. Well neither do I. Their grapevine only works when it suits them !

      jack.trend.3 - 2013-01-20 08:45

      If you say so. Actually, not. Fact remains, what I said is true. If they were white would you be so callous?

  • mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2013-01-19 19:41

    Where is cANCer, Hope for the poor????? They are in their Mansions sleeping in ths good weather and don't even give a damn about you. Wake up and vote for change.

      pule.isaac.10 - 2013-01-19 20:40

      This has got nothing to do with the ruling party stop using this retrenchment saga as ur campaign for ur stupid political party,this is not a joke and if u were ever re trenched from ur job u would be knowing better that this situation is like a life sentence,let's wait until u are mugged by this affected external families of this people u will understand exactly what u meant.

      Graham - 2013-01-20 06:58

      Pule - you are openly stating that their families are now going to resort to crime. Is this the African culture that Zuma is always on about?

  • rohin.jadin - 2013-01-19 20:13

    it's unfortunate that so many have to suffer for the few. I can only hope that this serves as a lesson going forward that one can not continue to demand without consequences. The unions have a golden goose mentality, they appear to have the masses interests at heart, but at the end of the day, there is only that much they can do. All the money lost in days spent striking is not worth it in an economy where unemployment is rife. I understand where all the comments of "Serves them right" - and blaming it on the ANC come from - but we can have some empathy for the plight of those less fortunate. I'm sure they would rather be in the comfort zone many of us are fortunate enough to dwell in. Have no pity, but show some empathy. The more our unemployment rates rise, the more our crime rates will spike. We are all affected by this, in one way or another.

      pule.isaac.10 - 2013-01-19 20:32

      That's true we are all going to be affected by this retrenchment saga.

  • The_Don_@_Nkandla - 2013-01-19 20:39

    Shame! Do your best, though. You are the captains of your souls and the masters of your with it as best you can

  • mzwandile.dlamanzi - 2013-01-19 20:50

    I think Government must develop a plan to regulate the mining industry in terms of economic and operational viability. We all tag this industry as an economic hub of the country and we need to give it the attention it deserves. Worse, our brothers, whom most are bread winners are suffering.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-19 21:14

      It used to be the economic hub. It formed 69% of our GDP in 1994. Today it only forms around 10%. The reality is that mining cannot be counted on to employ in the vast numbers it once used to. What is being done to re-skill people so they can work? What new industries are being created? Which of our existing industries are expanding? People are leaving school qualified to do very little and too many are still in the mindset that "oh well they'll go mining, farming or join SAPS". Time for everyone to catch a wake-up and realise that tangible, marketable skills are needed to get employed and very hard work to remain employed.

      mzwandile.dlamanzi - 2013-01-19 21:30

      Yhoo! I hope your 10% is not correct my friend. But why choose 94 out of all the years remain my concern. I just suspect the industry is not sustainable but i agree with you on the labour intensity.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-20 09:48

      @mzwandile.dlamanzi - actually it's 9.8% somewhere around there. We lost 2.5% GDP last year just from strikes. I think the decline was inevitable. My point is what has been done in the last 18 years to skill people for other things or to create other forms of work?

      Glen.E.Huysamer - 2013-01-20 11:25

      @mzwandile I would have to agree with you sir, but I would also like to go further and say that government take complete control over the entire mining industry forthwith. It is entirely possible because almost every single mine in South Africa is in some way or other working outside prescribed laws, and contactual terms. The entire industry should be locked down. An immediate task team set up to see that the entire mining industry is converted into a civil service orientated industry with all it's employee's paid on the 15th of every month like any other government employer. Our mineral recourses attract the attention of investors worldwide why not allow this opportunity to resident South African's only, starting with the experts on the mines. That includes everybody on the mine because to survive the game of mining you have to be professional expert regardless if you are a foreman or pushing a wheel borrow underground. South African's should begin to own it's own mines and stockpile it's own resources and sell it when the prices are at it's highest. This constant fleecing of our recourses by foreign mining companies and the politically connected has to come to an end. Many blacks believe white S.African's do not want nationalization but a growing number believe that some how it should be done regardless of how everybody perceives this ANC government, big business lies behind just as much corruption and are the corruptors of government. it is time to Nationalize.

  • johan.vandermerwe.33 - 2013-01-19 21:59

    Toi Toi will keep you warm and cozy....!

  • dirkengelbrecht - 2013-01-19 23:03

    Strike you buggers

  • graeme.potgieter - 2013-01-20 07:25

    Africa is a tough country if you dumb youre pills for stupidity.if more of them could see or realize what the consequences will be from their actions south africa might start going somewhere one day.

  • trudiroos.potter - 2013-01-20 08:31

    My brother works at this mine. They are sitting at home, have to go to work once in a while to see if anything can be done to maintainance. Risking their lives by doing that. Their income is not good enough to pay for their houses. Because of these striking Zimbabwians, Mozambiquans and non-South Africans. That is why they can not go back. There is nothing to go back to.

  • nigel.olifaunt - 2013-01-20 08:37

    Good! I like this! Suffer you fools, suffer!

  • Glen.E.Huysamer - 2013-01-20 10:56

    Nationalize the mines as soon as possible, this blatant disregard for employees well being shown here by mine bosses is just one more reason to pull the carpet out under private and foreign mine ownership in South Africa. The illegality of it all, is perpetrated through a well organized system that ensures that the rural migrant poor are kept entirely beholden to these giant foreign controlled mining conglomerates, run using every conceivable dirty trick devised in modern company management which ensures that the worker remains stagnant in his self development thereby dooming his children to another cycle of the same abuse. The system in South Africa sucks so badly that the prospect of Nationalization can not be seen as a worse case scenario. Let us understand that the building of hostels by any company to house workers is a self serving practice as the case above proves. In any 1st world country miners earn enough to house themselves their families and have a vehicle to drive themselves to work. Now before anybody says we are 3rd world and all the rest, I would say that being 3rd world makes it even more important for South African's to expect the same, thereby ensuring that our own economy grows exponentially, not by employing masses at poverty sustaining wages but rather by employing structured sustainable numbers of workers with quality wages, that are not only sustainable but which empowers the economy exponentially and not in the present discounted manner.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-20 12:34

      Well just a few tiny differences between your 1st world and 3rd world analogy - most mines are mechanised, most miners hold engineering and other university degrees, most mines employ a fraction of the labour we employ. Mining is not the great sustainer of our economy any more, and it probably will never be again. Nationalise all you want, the lay-offs will continue and what will become of those people who are qualified to do little else?

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