Where are the owners of Germiston’s Primrose Gold Mine? What are their immediate plans, if any? These are the questions that hundreds of destitute miners want answered, and urgently.
The men reported for duty as usual on December 23, 2009. There they were confronted by locked entrances, and informed that operations had been stopped due to unsafe working conditions. The next day, the mine’s owner, Keith Archie Hart, reportedly told them that he was going to have a meeting with potential new owners of the mine.
When the miners returned the next month, the mine was still closed. Operations have ceased and no one seems to know when they will resume, or where the owner is. Attempts from this newspaper to get hold of Hart to shed light have yielded no results, as have those from the union representing the marooned workers. The departments of labour and and mineral resources say they know nothing about the closure.
Some of the workers, some from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Mozambique, are stranded in the compound, without water and power, or any source of income. They cannot access unemployment insurance fund benefits because their former employer has not signed documents to enable them to be paid. They barely exist.
Something must be done for these hapless men.