Wrangling leaves miners in limbo

Written by  Sunday, 26 January 2014 08:51
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Thousands of jobless Blyvoor miners struggling to make ends meet are desperate to get back to work.

Article by Gabi Falanga, Tileni Mongudhi & Justice Kavahematui for M&G

Flies buzz around the small room as a pot of offal boils on a small gas cooker on the floor. In the corner of the makeshift kitchen stands an engine in a black pool of oil. The two doorways leading off from the kitchen are closed with shower curtains, and a narrow bed with an indented mattress is just visible through the one.
This is the scene in one of the rooms at Hostel Three at Blyvooruitzicht. A mineworker, who asks not to be named and cannot speak English, lives here.
His son, who is visiting from Cape Town, explains his father's situation: "Last week the other miners called my father and told him to come back [from the Transkei]. He came back, and there's still no work."
The miners, who have been without work since August last year, when the mine went into provisional liquidation, hoped that operations would start again this week.
"We're in the dark; the only information we hear is from the [Carletonville] Herald or rumours," said a former mine electrician.
The understanding among mine unions was that Goldrich Holdings would make a payment towards the purchase of the mine on January 13. This, it was hoped, would have meant renewed production.
But Goldrich and the mine's joint provisional liquidators were this week involved in a legal wrangle, with the liquidators claiming they had not been paid. Goldrich has refuted this and accused the ¬liquidators and the mine of "unlawfully evicting" them. On Thursday Goldrich won an urgent application at the Johannesburg high court, allowing it back on to the mine.
"The mine closure is affecting more than 1 600 people," said George Kgoroyaboco, branch secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers.
Another concern is the pending sale of the houses and infrastructure in the Blyvooruitzicht village to a private company, leading to workers being charged rent and utility fees while they have no income.
"This could result in them becoming destitute," Kgoroyaboco said.
"Many will be without income from the UIF [the Unemployment Insurance Fund] by the end of April," said the branch chairperson of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solomon Makhunga.
A miner in her early 40s said she is her family's only breadwinner. She receives R1 500 a month from the UIF, but is struggling to care for her wheelchair-bound husband and ¬ailing mother.
Deeper in the village, Mozambican George Baulos Masinga sits on a dusty pavement sewing a pair of jeans with an old machine. He has become a tailor to make ends meet, but said he doesn't make nearly as much as he did at the mine.
Kgoroyaboco said zama zamas (illegal miners) have been killed by mine security, and that there have been other deaths in turf wars between different zama zama factions "who kill one another when they meet on mine property".
The police confirmed that illegal miners and mine security officials have been killed, but declined to give the number of deaths.


The FSE contributed to the article titled “Caught between a rock and hard place”...



The FSE, in association with Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine, donated 40 white Karee Trees (Searsia penduline) during Arbor Week to the mining affected community of Simunye in the West Rand and participated in the tree planting ceremony with the community of Simunye, the local Municipality and officials from South Deep Mine.  The FSE also delivered a presentation during the ceremony.

"Varkies" gou op hok, maar als nie pluis | Beeld

Article also available for download as an attachment.

Radon Alert - Carte Blanche

Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer.   Watch the video here.

WITS Economics & Finance Courses: Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage

Economics & Finance Courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage - Understand taxation for development and sustainability in mining. View the course here. Enrolment starts on the 7th of October 2019.



The Intervention document is attached for download.

Development of the National Eutrophication Strategy and Supporting Documents

Attached documents:1. DWS Eutrophication SA & GA PSC 1 BID2. PSC 1 Meeting A...

Fears of long term damage to SA's water supply as eutrophication strangles rivers and dams | IOL

Toxic green algae in the Vaal River is caused by eutrophication, which harms wat...