African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, addresses the media at a press conference at the party headquarters, Chief Albert Luthuli House in Johannesburg on May 29, 2017.
JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, will meet with workers at the troubled Optimum coal mine in Mpumalanga on Thursday after workers went on strike demanding salaries and answers about the future of the mine.
Gupta-owned businesses, including Optimum coal mine, Koornfontein mines and Optimum Coal Terminal, have been placed under business rescue.
Mineral Resources Minister @GwedeMantashe1 has arrived at the OptimumCoalMine with the DG and other NUM officials to discuss the future of the mine that had been placed under business rescue. pic.twitter.com/wrosNteDkD— Samkele maseko (@samkelemaseko) March 8, 2018
Optimum workers said the mine is in a state of disarray and that suppliers have not been paid. Workers have also demanded answers from management about the future of the mine and the security of their jobs.
About 2,000 workers were not paid any wages in February.
Optimum coal mine has also been taken to court by another mining company, Derko Mining and Exploration, in an effort to have the mine liquidated. Optimum owes service providers over R60-million.
The mine could also be shut down over its failure to operate a community water desalination plant, which is a requirement for its mining licence.
Optimum supplies coal to power utility Eskom, a contract that has come under scrutiny for being awarded irregularly.