N West mineworkers want VMR mining license revoked

Mineworkers at Tau-Lekwa and Kopanang gold mines at Orkney have accused the mine of transferring them without being consulted and allegedly with contracts which put them at a disadvantage in terms of employment benefits.

The mineworkers in the North West, who submitted a memorandum to the Departments of Mineral Resources and Energy and Employment & Labour now want the government to revoke mining licences of the Village Main Reef (VMR) mining company.

The mineworkers braved the chilly and rainy weather and marched about 14 kilometres to Klerkdorp to deliver their memorandum of demands and grievances.

They were transferred to VMR without consultation.

Mineworkers representative Junior Kgwedi says they demand that the government revoke the mining licence of VMR and the outstanding payments of the unemployment insurance fund amongst others be paid to the workers.

Kgwedi says, “ Since they brought the mining licence from Anglo Gold, we have witnessed numerous mismanagement from their side. There are a number of fatalities that have happened in Tau Lekwa to be specific, there are quite a number of mal-management that they are doing including the gold thieves done by them internally…”

“ We are saying, this is a sign to us that VMR as an employer is not interested in South African people, it is interested in making money so they must leave the license with us…” added Kgwedi.

The mineworkers also say their living conditions have been adversely affected by the unilateral transfers.

An employee of the City of Matlosana Abbeya Nkapela received the workers’ memorandum on behalf of the two departments.

Nkapela says, “The memorandum that I have received on behalf of the relevant authorities will be submitted first thing in the morning…”

The workers have given both the department of Mineral Resources and Energy and the department of Employment and Labour seven working days to respond to their demands.

Last week striking mineworkers at the Village Main Reef’s Tau Lekoa operation in North West turned on their unions accusing them of selling them out to the employer.

Three unions held a mass meeting with the workers in Orkney to give feedback from meetings held with the Village Main Reef Mine Management, following the mine’s announcement of its plans to restructure and possibly retrench workers.

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