newsSunday Independent writes that some 130 days after the rock-fall at Lily Mine that led to three miners ending up trapped underground the scene outside the mine is eerily silent.  At the time of the accident, the mine had 482 employees, but it is not clear how many of those men and women are still actively on duty.  

Among the lucky ones is Clifford Smith, who once worked in human resources for the mine, as he recently got a job with Solidarity, which represents some of the workforce.  Those affiliated to Solidarity, at least, have seen the trade union take up the cudgels on their behalf to speak to schools to exempt mineworkers’ dependents from paying school fees.  Solidarity has also distributed food parcels among its 55 members.  For the rest, the reality of the situation is even grimmer.  When their April salaries were eventually paid, it was a mere fraction of their normal pay.  Those who had jobs are now hoping that the R130m needed to open up a new rescue entrance will be raised, but the “when” and the “how” is not in their hands.  Once access is gained and the three miners are brought back - dead or alive - mining operations will then resume.


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