CAPE TOWN - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Friday, expressed concern that workers at the Gupta-owned Optimum and Koornfontein mines have not yet been paid.

"In meetings held between the Business Rescue Practitioner (BRP) and the NUM, BRP committed himself to pay the workers by the end of the month. It is yet another false promise," NUM said in a statement.

"The BRP had meetings with both the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and Parliament Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and promised that workers will be paid."

Workers at the mines went on strike in February when their salaries were not paid on time.

"The NUM feels that the BRP was being economical with the truth. We cannot allow this situation to continue as it is at the moment. The NUM calls on the BRP to sell the operations as there are interested investors to buy them," the statement said.

In February, it was confirmed the Gupta-owned businesses, including Optimum coal mine, Koornfontein mines and Optimum Coal Terminal, were placed under business rescue. 

The move came as law enforcement agencies circled the Gupta brothers - their whereabouts currently unknown. Their acquistion of the mine and subsequent securing of a lucrative coal supply contract with the power utility is the subject of several investigations, including one by Parliament.

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE