NUM says mines still operational, against lockdown controls

It's day six of the country's official lockdown. Most companies are complying with government regulations. But not everyone is playing their part. National Union of Mineworkers says several mining companies continue to operate. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Mineworkers has raised concerns that several mining companies in the country are still operational.

“It is worrying and disturbing that these companies are still operating on reduced staff. It shows that these companies don’t care about the lives of their employees," said NUM President, Joseph Montisetse. 

"They care about profits. Profits cannot outweigh the lives of mineworkers. The decision to continue operating is barbaric, reckless, inhuman and irresponsible.

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"We want to know as the NUM who gave these mining companies the right to operate during the 21-days of lockdown. It is clear that someone has given these companies the regulatory green light to operate during the lockdown," Montisetse added.

The NUM Special National Executive Committee (NEC) last week pronounced that the coal mining companies that supply Eskom Power Stations with coal 24/7 will be regarded as essential service during the 21 days of lockdown.

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Those that do not supply Eskom with coal are expected to comply with the regulations set by the 21-day lockdown and only operate on care and maintenance.  

The union said workers remaining in the care and maintenance of the mines should be provided with basic necessities such as sanitisers, proper food, water, protective clothing and medical care. 

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