Free State Premier Ace Magashule has lashed out at mining companies for focusing on dividends rather than on the plight of people.
He says the closure of some mines has left many people jobless.
Magashule was visiting government projects in Welkom, including the multi-million-rand Vuyo Charles stadium in the area.
Magashule has appealed to companies to re-open mines to create employment.
“The mines have done a lot of damage here, people are sick. The mines have to rehabilitate and plough back to communities in these mining towns of Lejweleputswa. I was happy when people stood up and said this is the time for the mines to contribute and plough back to the communities and we support them.”