Miners stranded amid heavy rains

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IOL BR mining PIC001 Reuters.

Around 85 Harmony Gold miners in Carltonville, Johannesburg were left stranded after their temporary shelter was left flooded in Saturday's rain, said the workers.

Their representative Sthembile Nqulo, said the Wedela Roman Catholic Church they had been living in for the last week was drenched in water.

“The clothes and blankets are wet... We have no idea what we are going to do tonight,” said Nqulo.

He said the miners had been experiencing shelter problems since the mine announced it was shutting its gates and sent them packing on January 3.

Around 600 miners would be retrenched and the mine locked them out of the hostel.

The mine reported that it was shutting its Kusasalethu mine because of safety and security reasons.

Some mineworkers who were not from Johannesburg took refuge in the Wedela High School but were forced to evacuate when schools re-opened last week.

“We have been looking for help everywhere but we are not getting any... We hope that the media can help us,” said Nqulo.

The SA Weather Service said the downpours were expected to continue throughout the weekend.

Meanwhile, mine management met with the National Union of Mineworkers, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Solidarity and the United Association of South Africa on Thursday for talks about the retrenchments.

The meeting was facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

The next facilitation would happen on January 29. - Sapa


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