JOHANNESBURG – Workers at the troubled Optimum and Koornfontein Colliery mines in Mpumalanga, are expected to march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday, demanding that government assist in getting the operations at the mines to full functionality after the Gupta family lost ownership and operating rights of the mines.

The workers at Optimum and Koornfontein mines have not been paid their salaries for the past three months, laying the blame on the business rescue practitioners overseeing the operations.

A South African consortium called Project Halo won a bid to buy Optimum Coal Mine, Koornfontein Mine and Optimum Coal Terminal for R3.05 billion from Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a mining company which is linked to the controversial Gupta family.

The workers also want the existing implemented rescue plan to be brought to finality and a potential credible investor to be sought to take over in order to save the jobs of more than 2 000 workers.

They want government to develop a clear strategy and approach to save their jobs and also develop urgent means to take full ownership of the company. 

They are expected to gather at Marabastad Old Depot in Pretoria at 9am on Wednesday before handing over their memorandum at the Union Buildings at noon.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Mpumalanaga said it fully supported the planned march by members of its affiliated union, the National Union of Mineworkers. 

African News Agency (ANA)