Parliament Fears Aurora Repeat In Gupta-Owned Mine Strike

Eskom confirms status of Optimum Coal Mine

Eskom confirms status of Optimum Coal Mine

Chief Operating Officer at Optimum, George van der Merwe today spoke with the workers at the mine telling them that legal courses are in motion to keep the bank accounts open.

Workers at the Gupta-owned Optimum coal mine in Mpumalanga, this week downed tools, demanding answers from management over the mine's future, as its shareholders are on the run.

Eskom, the sole power provider in Africa's most industrialised economy, said it was informed by Optimum, which supplies its Hendrina Power Station, that Optimum had started business rescue proceedings on Monday.

"We call on the Department of Mineral Resources to intervene swiftly and establish with certainty the future of the mine". Workers are on strike because of the Bank of Baroda withdrawing services in South Africa and reduced the operations to a standstill as they marched to hand over a memorandum to the company's COO.

Eskom has diverted coal from other mines to supply the Hendrina power station.

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The workers at Optimum wanted assurances from their employer that they would be paid on Friday, as the company was experiencing financial problems.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says the uncertainty needs to be addressed immediately.

Committee chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said the situation at Optimum mine was reminiscent of the events that occurred leading up to the Aurora mine disaster, where workers were not paid for several months before the mine was shut down and its assets stripped by owners.

He said Van der Merwe could not commit to ensuring that workers would be paid on time.

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