Today's Labour News

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coalMoneyweb reports that Koornfontein coal miners have been without pay for nearly two years, after the catastrophic involvement of the Guptas brought the company to its knees.  

The mine, along with Optimum and several other Gupta-owned companies, was placed in business rescue nearly two years ago.  The adjoining town of Blinkpan in Mpumalanga has been gutted since the mines were placed in rescue.  It is reckoned two dozen miners have died, some from stress-related illnesses, since they stopped receiving pay cheques in early 2018.  At first, out-of-work Koornfontein and Optimum miners were collecting food and donations from nearby businesses to feed themselves, in the hope that the mines would be resuscitated within a matter of months rather than years.  Now nearly two years later, many have drifted off to surrounding areas to take whatever work they could find.  They borrowed from family and friends to pay for water and lights and made deals with school administrators to pay their children’s school fees once the mines reopened.  Back in Johannesburg, the battle for who gets to own and run the mine is far from resolved.  Losing bidder Lurco Group feels cheated by irrational conditions imposed on it.  Last month it brought an application to interdict the rescue practitioners from selling the mine to Black Royalty Minerals (BRM).  One Koornfontein miner now working as a waiter commented:  “We are aware of the different deals on the table and for us the Lurco deal was the best, because we would receive backpay.”  A complicating factor is that Koornfontein creditor Westdawn has applied for the winding up of mine, on the grounds that it cannot pay its debts.

  • Read the full original of the detailed report in the above regard by Ciaran Ryan at Moneyweb

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