Barberton - A number of African National Congress members visited the Lily Mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga, on Wednesday where three mineworkers have been trapped underground for 12 days.
The ANC supporters were brought to the mine entrance by several minibus taxis.
Some were brought in vans.
Their vehicles were not allowed into the mine premises, so the more than 100 ANC supporters walked past the mine's main entrance, which was manned by several armed guards.
Most of the ANC supporters were in green and black ANC Women's League regalia. Others were wearing ANC yellow t-shirts bearing President Jacob Zuma's face.
Moments later, three South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) bakkies arrived at the mine carrying numerous mattresses.
Families of the three miners have been camping inside the mine premises since Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Mabuza and Solomon Nyarenda were trapped in the mine shaft on February 5. On Tuesday, Vantage Goldfields assured parliamentary officials that it would spare no effort in ensuring that its three workers are rescued.
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“We have been given assurances by both the department [of mineral resources] as well as by the management of the company that they are willing to go to whatever length to ensure that that rescue mission is a success and those people will be brought above the ground. That is the level of what we could do at this stage,” chairperson of Parliament's portfolio committees on mineral resources Sahlulele Luzipo told reporters at the mine.
Luzipo said the parliamentary delegations want Mnisi, Mabuza and Nyarenda brought out of the shaft “dead or alive”.
“Come rain come what, we want those people out - dead or alive - we want them above the ground. That is the issue. We are not going to rest until those people have been rescued,” said Luzipo.
He was accompanied by chairperson of the portfolio committee on labour, Lumka Yengeni and chairperson of select committee on land and mineral resources Olifile Sefako.
Luzipo said the parliamentary delegation had also met the families of the mineworkers. Lily Mine, owned by Vantage Goldfields, is currently closed and rescue missions are on hold following two collapses at the sinkhole where the three miners remained trapped for more than a week.
Mnisi, Mabuza and Nyarenda became trapped underground when the container they were working in fell into a sinkhole created by a collapsed crown pillar before being covered by huge rocks. Seventy six other workers were rescued following the collapse.
AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY