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Optimum, Koornfontein miners set to continue striking over pay

The mines owned by the controversial Gupta family have failed to pay workers, with management citing banking challenges.

Protesters at the Optimum coal mine entrance in Mpumalanga. Picture: Pelane Phakgadi/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Striking Optimum and Koornfontein coal mine employees in Mpumalanga are expected to continue protesting at their firms on Wednesday morning.

The mines owned by the controversial Gupta family have failed to pay workers, with management citing banking challenges.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says the company has inconvenienced its members for far too long, demanding they be paid immediately.

The union has called for a commitment from business rescue practitioners to promise that jobs are secured for the future.

Branch chairperson Goodwill Mthombeni says that the company should pay salaries as a matter of urgency.

“Unfortunately we’re now lacking confidence because the more we leave them unattended it might get out of hand any time soon.”

Meanwhile, workers at Gupta linked news channel ANN7 have reportedly been paid on Tuesday.

Owner Mzwanele Manyi says that his company will reimburse employees on any failed debit order charges.

“It was just a technical glitch as I say, it’s got nothing to do with what people think it is. So we’re just operating normally.”

ANN7 was owned by the Guptas until Manyi bought it via vendor financing last year.