Gupta Optimum’s mine workers want answers

coal mine
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Striking workers at the Gupta-owned Optimum Coal mine in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, have handed over a memorandum of grievances to management after a protest march.

The workers say they’re concerned about the future of the mine, with the Gupta brothers embroiled in corruption allegations and at least one out of the country.

They also accuse the mine of financial mismanagement.

The workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) say they won’t return to work until they are addressed by mine management.

The CEO of the mine George van der Merwe told the striking workers that the mine is experiencing financial problems, while he was accepting the memorandum of grievances from the workers.

He said, “I will take some time with my management team just to go over the memorandum and give you the responses. As you were saying that you would like the truth from this and the truth that…

“As I am saying that the situation that we are in today is not as a result of our own making but as the results of the external forces, and of course I will be discussing that with you today so that we can understand the truth.”