Unlike their male counterparts, they say they don’t have much to complain about. Siphokazi Mgcineni, who works as a cage assistant at Sibanye Stillwater K4 mine, says they want employers to focus on them and their needs as they face more responsibilities as breadwinners.
Mgcineni says, “K4 is a new mine that has put women forward. I wish that 60% of the workers at the Sibanye shafts could be women. We have so many responsibilities, 90% of us (females) are single parents, we support our children and we are breadwinners.”
Female mineworkers speak about their roles in the mines at Marikana anniversary event:
Another female miner, general production worker Nosiphiwo Shonga says they are asking for security measures to be improved in parking areas. She says at K3 mine, when miners go down, they sometimes come back to find that their cars have been stolen.
“Parking for officials has security personnel to safe guard their cars but the parking area for general workers is not protected by security guards.”
She says she is urging their employer to implement security for general worker parking areas too.
Unlike the countless men working in mines around Marikana who complain about various factors from irregular tax deductions, safety threats and unequal pay, the women say their working conditions are mostly favourable.