Today's Labour News

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mosebenzizwaneThe Sunday Independent reports that Monday marked the second year anniversary of the Lily Mine disaster when three miners were left trapped underground after the container they were working in as a lamp-room was swallowed whole in a massive cave-in.  

Since that fateful day on 5 February 2016 when Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyirenda were trapped, there has been nothing but talk, especially from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).  Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who has been condemned for his inaction regarding the fate of the trapped miners and their families, opened the Mining Indaba on Monday and indicated that the inquiry into the accident had been concluded, and a report would be submitted to the DMR soon.  Approximately a year ago, it was reported that the families of the trio and survivors were due to be paid lump sums of R200,000.  None of the affected mineworkers or their families have seen this money.  It was Zwane who made this bold announcement only to somersault later and point a finger at business rescue practitioners Sturns as being responsible for the payments.  But Sturns has always maintained that the payments could only be made once the mine found new investors, which has not yet eventuated.  NUM deputy president Joseph Montisetse said the union was at its wits’ end and believed that Zwane’s departure as minister was needed to see progress at the mine, which remains closed - leaving the mineworkers and their families destitute.  Amcu, which is the majority union at the mine, is just as disillusioned.  General secretary Jeff Mphahlele commented that “government does not show any interest in this thing”.

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