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Lily Mine workers must wait until end June for compensation

Workers & management at Lily Mine have reached an agreement on retrenchment packages.

The dirt road leading to the area of the tunnel collapse at the Lily Mine near Barberton, Mpumalanga. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Solidarity says there will be a mass exodus of skilled workers from Lily Mine in Mpumalanga after the union reached an agreement over retrenchment packages.

The mine had to stop operations after a collapse in February which left three workers trapped underground.

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

The mine is currently under business rescue and was only able to get its business plan approved by creditors this week, in order to apply for R200 million in funds needed for operations to resume.

Solidarity's Gideon du Plessis says workers who opt for retrenchment will receive their packages by the end of June, while the mine has agreed to pay their medical aid.

"It means if they only get paid by 30 June then they would be without a salary payment for three months and most people have to leave their rented houses by the end of this week."

WATCH:_ Inside Lily Mine..._

MINERS, FAMILIES NEED HELP

Gift of the Givers says workers affected by the suspension of operations are in dire need of assistance, with many struggling to make ends meet.

Gift of the Givers is now providing relief to affected families.

The organisation's Badr Kazi says at the moment, they can only provide food parcels and hygiene packs to families with young babies.

"We are doing three more food-aid drops. We're also assessing the situation and the families' needs. We're trying to find out if there are babies who need medical care that their parents can't afford."