Johannesburg - Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane has challenged mining mogul and billionaire Patrice Motsepe to consider paying his mineworkers higher salaries like he does with players at Mamelodi Sundowns.
Zwane was among the keynote speakers at the memorial services of five mineworkers who perished after being trapped for days in the belly of Harmony’s Kusasalethu mine in Carletonville, Gauteng. The bodies of the last two trapped miners were retrieved on Friday. They died about two weeks after siesmic event hit the area they were working on.
Their memorial services was held earlier today and attended by families of the deceased, union leaders and other stakeholders. Motsepe, who owns Mamelodi Sundowns soccer team, is also the chairperson of Harmony Gold’s board.
Zwane said he trusted Motsepe because, unlike other mine bosses, he has been going to the area of the accident on many occasions and has also been grieving with the families of the deceased. Zwane said it was unacceptable that mineworkers were still subjected to poverty and dangerous working conditions while mine bosses lived a life of luxury.
He then challenged Motsepe to change the status quo faced by the industry.
“You must own more mines so that you can do what you are doing at Sundowns and pay mineworkers decent salaries,” said Zwane to the applauds of the mourners and Motsepe himself.
The minister said the government was committed to work with other stakeholders to help make mines safe and eradicate poverty in mineworkers households.
“We will not be free until the last shack is eradicated and workers own mines,” said Zwane.