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Has Gupta-linked Optimum paid workers?

The mine says salaries are up to date while workers say they have only been given 50% of their wages, accusing business rescue practitioners of not being honest.

FILE: Optimum Coal Mine workers protest after the company failed to pay their salaries on 23 February 2018. Picture: Pelane Phakgadi/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There appear to be conflicting reports over whether the Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga has paid its workers.

The mine says salaries are up to date while workers say they have only been given 50% of their wages, accusing business rescue practitioners of not being honest.

The mine says it's in the process of obtaining finance to ensure that the mine returns to normal.

The Gupta-linked firm has been in financial difficulties since the Bank of Baroda’s exit from South Africa.

Business rescue practitioner Chris Monyela says the mine has successfully negotiated the resumption coal transport with Transnet and the exportation of coal through the Richards Bay terminal.

He says these are just some of the processes underway to ensure that the mine is financially viable.

Miners, however, have been continuing with their protestors on Thursday, burning tyres in front of the mine’s premises.

Monyela says there is a large outstanding creditors bill and the mine is doing everything possible to settle this and pay workers at the same time. He says a plan will be tabled in the coming weeks.

Monyela says it’s vital that Optimum meets Eskom’s coal supply requirements while trying to ensure that all employees are paid and the mine is returned to maximum production.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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