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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU is encouraged and delighted by the partial progress at Lily Mine

17 May 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is encouraged and delighted to see some positive developments taking place regarding the resolution of challenges facing workers at Lily Mine in Mpumalanga. Since the tragic collapse of a sinkhole that buried three workers and left several of them injured, COSATU has been campaigning to see some justice and relief for the Lily Mine workers.

The federation is glad to see that the families of missing miners {Mrs Pretty Mabuza, Mr Solomon Nyarenda and Ms Yvonne Mnisi}, who are still trapped underground at Lily Vantage gold mine in Mpumalanga since the 15th of February 2016 have been paid the R200 000 that was promised to them.

We also welcome the payment of R10 000 to the 75 injured miners that were promised a payment of R50 000, and we shall continue to work to support the fundraising efforts to raise money so that workers can receive the additional R 40 000.

COSATU remains adamant that any company that takes over operations at Lily Mine needs to prioritise the repatriation of the bodies of the trapped miners first. We also want to see the continuation of an investigation that will help determine the cause of the accident and we demand that those found responsible should be held accountable.

Employers need to start taking seriously the five {5} point pledge plan that is meant to achieve zero harm with regard to mining fatalities. The key question for mining bosses is what kind of prevention mechanism they are going to implement to reduce and ultimately stop mining fatalities. Our government needs to present tangible enforcement mechanisms and hire more inspectors to ensure that there is compliance in the mines.

Mining companies cannot just focus on profit maximisation and increased mechanisation of the sector, without paying serious attention to job security, economic growth and access to educational, housing and other facilities for the mine workers. COSATU wants to see all those companies that exploit wasting assets, such as mines compelled to provide their workers with adequate housing, training and opportunities for promotion.

COSATU will continue to push for government to take over control of strategic commodities such as gold, platinum and steel. This strategic nationalisation will go a long way in addressing the problems engulfing the mining sector. Workers know that they cannot escape oppression , poverty , insecurity and racism unless they are in control of their own lives. It is our belief that only collective ownership of our strategic natural resources can help us achieve full political and economic emancipation for the working class.

Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Mobile: 060 975 6794