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NUM set on opposing Lily Mine severance package deal

The union says it’s against the move as it believes management intends to retrench the employees cheaply.

FILE: The dirt road leading to the area where the collapse happened at the Lily mine near Barberton, Mpumalanga. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it will not accept a plan by Lily Mine to issue voluntary severance packages to its workers.

The union says it's against the move as it believes management intends to retrench the employees cheaply.

Operations at the Barberton mine in Mpumalanga, have been halted since February when a shaft collapsed trapping 76 mineworkers, who were later rescued.

Solomon Nyerende, Pretty Nkambule and Yvonne Mnisi are however still trapped underground after a lamp room they were working in fell into a sinkhole.

The NUM spokesperson Ngoako Matsha says the workers at the mine have suffered enough.

"The company did not follow Section 189 of the Labour Law, which was supposed to be followed when you institute voluntary severance packages. Therefore, we believe that the manner in which the company is trying to introduce this is illegal that's why we are going to oppose it."