Ajay and Atul Gupta File picture: Independent Media

Johannesburg - The chief executive of Optimum Coal Mine, owned by the controversial Gupta family, is expected to address striking workers over the future of the company and payment of their salaries on Thursday, news channel eNCA reported.

About 2 000 workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike at the mine in Mpumalanga on Wednesday, demanding to know if the company would be sold and whether they would be paid this week.

South African banks have cut services to the Gupta's, a wealthy Indian family accused of  using its personal ties with former president Jacob Zuma to wield inappropriate influence over the government and state owned companies. Both the family and Zuma had denied having a corrupt relationship.

India’s Bank of Baroda, which was the only bank with ties to the family's operations and handled workers payments at Optimum Coal, has said it is exiting South Africa, leaving workers uncertain about their salaries.

The mine supplies coal to state power utility Eskom

African News Agency/ANA