Phola 'at a standstill' after protest

2012-03-20 08:07

Mbombela - Protesters set alight a minibus belonging to a private company in Phola near Ogies in Mpumalanga on Tuesday, police said.

Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the protesters were on the streets and the situation was "very tense".

"The protest is not about service delivery, but employment at local coal mines."

Schools and health facilities in the community were closed for the second day.

"Everything is at a standstill."

On Monday night, roads were barricaded with rocks, burning tyres and metal, SABC radio news reported.

Motorists were urged to be cautious when using the N12 and other roads in the area.

Residents were upset because the local mine, Klipspruit Collery, was not employing locals.

Hlathi said he had heard there would be talks between the authorities and protesters on Tuesday.

At least 36 people had been arrested for public violence. Thirty of them were expected to appear in the Ogies Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

- Are you there or are you affected? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • Nosiphom - 2012-03-20 08:28

    I doubt any employer can decide to discriminate against capable, willing locals and prefer outsiders, unless the locals do not have the requisite skills for the jobs? What is the real story behind the story? Should the company bump the guys currently employed and exchange them for locals, or should they just employ more people, some of which will not be working, but just employed and paid a salary ? - Leading to the mine not being sustainable, closing in two years time and leaving even more people unemployed and ready to protest demanding that someone - not them - reopen the mines to give them jobs???

  • sariena.robbertse - 2012-03-20 08:38

    Zuma.Please step down.Just look what you are doing to this beautiful country.You are hopeless and you are just there to fill your pockets.

  • sariena.robbertse - 2012-03-20 08:40

    They demand jobs all the time and want to strike all the time.Weird people

  • Goose - 2012-03-20 08:41

    It is madness to employ people from far away communities. The only reason can be a lack of skills, lack of discipline or something along those lines. Look at the history of the mine. Perhaps they did employ locals and had a bad experience??? Guaranteed, there must be an explanation.

      Peter - 2012-03-20 08:50

      Thank you Goose! My sentiments exactly. News24 need to brush up on their fact finding and fact reporting skills and QUIT pandering to it's audience. (Do you even know what that means N24?)

      Phomolo Senye - 2012-03-20 09:39

      Trully speaking Phola and Ogies are taken for a ride...the last time I went to Ogies it was crystal clear that even when they applied they are been neglected..Transnet realized that and they corrected it after a long investigation to the matter..I take a lot of mines around these places unintentionally employ people from outside than locals.. a classical example that we came across was ogies and phola people only shotlisted when applying using witbank for their home address...problem is the head offices dont even know what ogies or phola is..since they are not really populated..

  • spencer.bullard - 2012-03-20 08:50

    News 24 is such a biased site, understandable given most readers are rasicst bigots like Joseph. This is the lead story on a day when a School was burned down in Grabouw because it could not handle the 600 unregisterestered children who showed up, simply because one is an ANC ward and the other DA....

  • Dennis - 2012-03-20 09:04

    Come election time,lets see who these idiots vote for ??

  • Inkwazi - 2012-03-20 09:05

    there is only one language this 'wits' understand, please vacate our mines as we are more than capable money of making out of them our selves, the protest will only get more intense more violent form now on.

  • Deon - 2012-03-20 09:22

    Do what most people do when you want a job: apply for it.

  • Johnathon - 2012-03-20 10:06

    Phomola, I could be speaking under correction, but I agree with Nosiphon and Goose. There has to be more to the story than meets the eye. Maybe locals were the ones stirring up strikes and stay aways, and fermenting unrest among other miners, over perceived salary and benefit issues. Maybe also, those being hired preferentially, may be from other mines, where they have built up the skills the mine is now looking for. These are un-researched comments. If this is the case, bring out the water cannons and rubber bullets.

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