Phosa: What have we learned from Marikana?

Matthews Phosa. (Lubabalo Ngcukana)
Matthews Phosa. (Lubabalo Ngcukana)

Bushbuckridge - Former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa has warned of an economic meltdown in South Africa if the working and living conditions of mine workers are ignored.

Phosa was addressing a group of more than one hundred people in Shatale outside Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga on Saturday during his #MP17 campaign.

Phosa voiced his concern over the well-being of mine workers in South Africa.

"What remains on the table after the corpses in Marikana are raw salaries. We must improve salaries of mine workers in South Africa," he said.

Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the Marikana massacre, where 34 miners were killed by police during a wildcat strike in the platinum belt outside Rustenburg in the North West.

Phosa said late former freedom fighter Oliver Tambo "would choke" at the rate of corruption in the country.

"If Oliver Tambo can wake up and see what South Africa has become, he would choke.

"He would say for us to look [at] ourselves in the mirror and all we would say is that we had a soup from Saxonwold full of chillies and atchar," said Phosa.

He warned that workers will rebel if their living conditions are not improved.

"Mine workers are treated like animals, but they are humans with needs. However, the system of mines continues to insult the dignity of mine workers. I think it’s a collective shame that the event like Marikana happened on our watch as government. We need to ask ourselves what are the lessons from Marikana," said Phosa.

In April, Phosa accepted the nomination for ANC president from ANC ward 52 at the Langa Sports complex in Cape Town.

Phosa, who previously publicly asked President Jacob Zuma to resign, said South Africa is threatened by a dictatorship.

"I will never keep quiet, I will never withdraw. He [Zuma] must step down. He is too dangerous; he might bring a dictatorship in this country," he said.

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