MantasheMining Weekly reports that mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe has called for urgent action to resolve the problems facing victims of state capture, particularly at the Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines.  

Speaking at the official ceremony to hand over 50% shareholding held by mining company Exxaro to former employees of Arnot coal mine, Mantashe said the miners, like the workers at Optimum and Koornfontein, were all victims of state capture.  “As we celebrate [the transfer of shares], we should also be working hard to resolve the problems facing other victims of state capture in Optimum and Koornfontein.  Those are not victims of anybody else; they are victims of state capture and corruption.  They are victims of collaboration between Eskom and the Guptas.  Our commitment should be to work together to come up with a permanent solution for Optimum and Koornfontein,” the minister exhorted.  He described the transfer of the shares to former Arnot employees as “revolutionary”.  “We chose [to do the handover] on May Day to highlight the significance of giving workers ownership.  It is revolutionary.  It has never happened in SA.”  Mantashe went on to opine:  “If workers own an entity, we believe they will be able to take care of that entity.  We must empower workers.  We are hoping this experiment will be a success.”

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