Mineral resources committee concerned over Optimum Mine impasse

2018-02-24 12:33
(Iavan Pijoos, News24)

(Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Cape Town – The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has expressed its concerns over the latest developments at the Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine in Mpumalanga, where workers are currently on strike.

Workers downed tools on Wednesday morning, saying there was uncertainty over their jobs and the future of the mine.

They were on strike to demand salaries and answers on the future of the mine.

READ: Striking Gupta mineworkers demand answers about their future

"The Committee is in receipt of a letter from the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM), requesting its intervention in the ongoing impasse," said chairperson of the committee, Sahlulele Luzipo on Saturday.

Luzipo said the situation at the Optimum mine was reminiscent of the events that occurred leading up to the Aurora mine disaster, where workers were not paid for several months before the mine was shut down and its assets stripped by owners.

"It cannot be allowed under this government dispensation that workers are made to bear the brunt, while the owners walk away unscathed," said Luzipo.

Luzipo said the committee was not convinced by explanations given to the workers by Optimum mine Chief Executive Officer George van der Merwe, about the sale of the mine to new owners.

"We call on the Department of Mineral Resources to intervene swiftly and establish with certainty the future of the mine. It should also assist in ensuring that workers are paid," said Luzipo.

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Read more on:    optimum  |  gupta family  |  mbombela  |  mining  |  labour
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