25 June 2014

South Africa: Cosatu and the Flexi Four Gold Mine

press release

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and NUM visited the mine jointly today, 25 June 2014, with Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) inspectors, Home Affairs and the SAPS, as per the plan to do a full investigation into the issues raised by former workers and members of the community in the Amalia area.

We want to be on record that as the federation we are highly disappointed with the manner in which some of the DMR officials conducted themselves during the visit. On arrival at the main gate we found that the gate was locked and almost all workers were taken out.

The employer's manager telephonically agreed with DMR officials that COSATU and NUM must not enter the premises, only the SAPS and DMR. This was after we had waited at the gate for more than an hour. Later a young man came, who, we were told by DMR, is the manager and the young brother to the owner of the mine.

It is confirmed by DMR that mine has no operating license. They are using the old license of the Blue Dot mine which was liquidated four years ago and the mine is operating without municipality approval and there is no social labour plan as per the mining charter.

It was also alleged that the mine is using workers from outside the RSA and very few employees are from the community or the local community.

This is the one of the mines that is expected to work with municipality to eradicate poverty in the municipality and there is nothing that is happening in the last three to four years.

We are told that since the permission was granted by DMR today is the first time the inspectors have gone to investigate how the mine is operating.

Our municipality of Mamusa is not aware of any operations of that mine. There is no communication from the mine with the former workers who were employed at the mine when it was liquidated.

We are asking the minister of DMR to intervene and that there must be a full investigation into the conduct of the inspectors and the allegations on the relationship between them and the owner

We are mobilising communities around the area and other stake holders demanding that the mining license be transferred to the communities as they did by transferring the license from Blue Dot to Flexi Four Gold mine.

We will be writing formal complain to the minister of DMR and DOL.

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