The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has noted with grave concern that Evander Gold Mine decision to retrench 1722 out of 1812 employees which will eventually place the operation under care and maintenance. Workers were served with notice to terminate their employment on the 25th April 2018 which indicates that their last day at work will be on the 26 May 2018. This is done regardless of the NUM requesting Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to intervene in line with leader’s declaration in mining industry commitment to save jobs and ameliorate the impact of job losses.
Evander Gold Mine is currently constructing a plant with aim of refining the tailings and still make the profit while workers face poverty.
The plant under construction had a budget of R1.7 billion. If the company had used this budget to improve the aging structure as they allege the closure of the mine could have been avoided. However, Pan African Resources as a capitalist in their nature and character seeks to maximize profit at the expense of workers directed resources to surface operation neglecting the underground operation which will result in the surface operation being operated by contractors perpetuating cheap labour.
The NUM would like to indicate that there is plenty of ore body which can allow the operation to run for the next 40 years. It is therefore irrational of Pan African to close down such operation where there is an opportunity to create employment in the country in trying to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality that society is faced with.
What is painful is the fact that Pan African Resources gave employees an ultimatum to vacate the company houses by the 30th May 2018 planning to sell those houses. This is painful because 80% of the workforce was drawn from all over the country and the neighbouring countries and they now reside with their families and their kids being registered at surrounding schools. The fundamental question is when Pan African Resources dismisses these employees from the company houses what will happen to the learners at this point in time? This, of course, proves that Pan African Resources does not care about workers who generated profit for them over the years.
The NUM position remains firm that if Pan African Resources can no longer be able to continue with Evander Gold Mines they rather surrender the mining licence to the government instead of closing down dismissing 1722 employees.
For more information, please contact:
Tshilidzi Mathavha: NUM Highveld Regional Secretary: 066 305 7424
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257