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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

Aurora workers facing a black Christmas

9 December 2014

The Congress of South African Trade Unions visited the Aurora workers today and confirmed that the poor workers will have a black Christmas again, after having been exploited by directors of Aurora for years.

The visit came after we received news that the Bhana Investment Company - which was instructed by the Gauteng High Court in October to make sure that by 15th December 2014 they would be able to prove to the court that they will have money to pay workers what is due to them - is nowhere to be found.
Therefore workers will get nothing for the festive season; it will mean the same black Christmas as they have been used to since the exploitation by the directors of Aurora started.
Workers are trapped in real poverty, with no food, no electricity and no water. Some are sick, and others have passed on due to stress created by poverty and the triple challenges facing those workers.

We are told that the liquidators have received the writ of execution to take to the sheriff for him to put the properties of that investment company on sale, to get the R35 million that belongs to the poor workers. We are asking the sheriff to proceed now so that workers can get something before 25th December 2014.

We are asking anyone who wants to help those workers to pay a visit and see how poor workers are exploited by rich people. If we really have what is called Ubuntu we will help and we ask Aurora directors just to swallow their pride, visit those workers and do something for them in this festive, or just pay them something that can put food on the table during these Christmas holidays.
Bhana is the company that was appointed by Aurora to run their finances, and it came out that they had received a lot of money during the process of liquidation but have not paid any of the creditors which include the poor workers to an amount of R35 million.

We call on the Master of the High Court to speed up the processes, as we know that in March 2015 the matter will be back in the high court. Can the matter be concluded so that those poor workers know their future?

We are requesting all companies or anyone who has something to donate to those workers to do so. We call on our government, in particular the Social Development Department, to help those poor workers.
We call on the Department of Labour to respond to the non-payment of the outstanding UIF, and say where it is today so many years after it was promised to those workers who qualify.

It is painful to see an old man of over 57 years crying tears because he has not seen his family for over two years. I am sure Aurora directors are celebrating such things. The only people who can celebrate when workers are dying are capitalists who have no mercy. What they worry about is production and profit. They do not care about the lives of any workers who are trapped in poverty. You are nothing to them except when you’re still able to produce profit for them. Only then are you a real worker.
We request the President of the RSA and his cabinet to do something on this matter to bring it to closure. Workers are dying!

We will have no option but to mobilise all those workers next week or on Christmas day to be at the DOL and DMR offices until they are paid something.

For more information call COSATU NW Provincial secretary Solly Phetoe [0823044055]