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Cosatu reaffirms its commitment to planned protest against Lily Mine

Plans to protest have also caused a cancelation of the planned remembrance day for the three trapped mineworkers.

Sink hole at the Lily Mine in Barberton. Picture: Vantage Goldfield

MPUMALANGA – Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has reaffirmed its commitment to a planned protest against the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga, one year after three workers were killed.

The union says not only has the mining company not retrieved the bodies of the three still trapped underground but money promised to their families have not been paid.

In February last year, the mine caved in trapping the three workers underground.

Company Vantage Point went on business rescue just months after the sinkhole that trapped workers underground took place.

Efforts to raise the R200 million needed to restart the mine and save jobs were cut short as Lily Mine’s sister mine Barbroek also went under business rescue, bringing the total needed to rescue both mines to R300 million.

However, Cosatu still maintains not enough is being done and therefore they will continue protesting.

“The minister and the employer made the public statements and promised publicly that they were going to pay the families of those workers who are trapped R200,000 and those workers who were rescued R50,000 each. That thing has never happened.”

Plans to protest have also caused a cancelation of the planned remembrance day for the three trapped mineworkers.

At the same time, business rescue firm Sturns said the mine used all the means possible to find the three mine workers who died after being trapped underground.

The business rescue practitioner said the mine spent a large sum of money on experts who were called in to assist in finding the miners.

The mine initially filed for business rescue in April 2016, two months after the tragedy.

The organisation’s Rob Deveruex said: “Every effort was made by management, unions and staff to retrieve the container. It was so unsafe to continue that the rescue operation was stopped.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)