Brits - Three mining companies operating within the Madibeng municipality in North West risk shutting down if they do not employ at least 1000 people by next week.
Hundreds of unemployed people marched to the mining companies on Wednesday, demanding that each of the mining companies employ at least 1000 people by Tuesday next week or brace themselves for total shut down.
North West provincial chairperson of the Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) Chamber of Commerce, Robert Ngwenya who led the march, said they wanted the mines to employ people and also to implement the mining charter.
"We cannot leave these guys exploiting our people, now that there are more foreigners working in our mines. We are saying let's start locally..." he said.
"What we want to achieve is that number one we want people to be employed,, number two equal opportunities in the mines, we are not going to compromise on that either you give us the 30 percent and give us part of the shafts that we want in these mines because we are tired of given small things and we are told they are empowering us. What we need is what is in the mining charter and they must implement that."
He said they demanded 1000 jobs from each of the mining companies and they expected the companies to tell them by Tuesday, how many people out of the 1000 they would be able to employ.
"We are demanding 1000 jobs within 48 hours, we do no compromise....where you get them we do not know but, we know we can assist you for this machinery to run quicker, production can flow when our brothers and sisters start working here," he said at Hernic mine outside Brits.
"We are here to assist you with your production and employing these people it means that you will be protected for the next coming years knowing that you have listened to us. And it means that you will continue employing them, and we will protect our minerals."
They went to Hernic Mine and Crocodile Mine outside Brits as wells as Lonmin in Marikana.
Johan Swanepoel received the memorandum on behalf of Hernic mines. He said the mines shared their concerns regarding unemployed in the Madibeng areas.
A convoy of about 50 buses, minibus taxis and cars slowly made their way through the N4 highway, disrupting afternoon traffic flow between Rustenburg and Pretoria.
On arrival in Lonmin, they chanted as they move towards a high steel gate, policemen forming a human chain in front of the gate, while mine security officers were on the other side of the gate with Lonmin employees to receive the memorandum.
They observed a moment of silent for 34 mineworkers who were killed on August 16, 2012.
"The truth must be told, we are still waiting for the truth. Justice must be done to their families," said Ngwenya.
He also called on Lonmin CEO Ben Magara to resign.
"We want nothing else but, Ben out," he said to a rousing applause from the crowd.
"This is one mine we want to see closed."
Unemployed Forum leader Tshepo "Stepestepe," Molaole said Lonmin must include the number of over 100 CVs submitted to them early this on top of the 1000 people they demanded that Lonmin should employ.
"If they fail to meet our demands, they will be disruption... We will stop all transport. I have 59 cases that Lonmin opened against. I am ready for another one to make all the cases between me and Lonmin to 60."
The group bused in from all wards of Madibeng municipality were expected to march to five mining companies including Lonmin in Marikana but went to only three.
In Majakaneng south of Brits, people did not go to work and schools were not opened, schools with boarding facilities in Hartbeespoort Dam called parents to fetch their children on Tuesday due to the protest, while in Maboloka north of Brits roads were barricaded with burning objects.
A high contingency of public order police monitored the march, two water cannon had been deployed and a police helicopter hovered above.
The march ended peacefully.
African News Agency/ANA