COSATU Mpumalanga is shocked and dismayed by the contemplated ceasing of mining operations at Optimum Coal Mine PTY (Ltd) by OCT company which will result in more than 498 job losses.

The Congress of the South African Trade Unions in Mpumalanga is deeply disappointed with the planned dismissal of 498 workers employed by OCT Company contracted to Optimum Coal Mine PTY (Ltd). The company is one of the mini operators contracted to mine at Optimum Liberty coal who has appointed the company to mine on its behalf, is reliant on selling coal in the international market and exporting coal through OCT by virtue of its RBCT linked entitlement at the terminal to derive income and its business.

Liberty coal will no longer be able to sustain its operations on all exporting activities through the terminal that will be ceased on 31 January 2023 by Richards Bay Coal terminal.

In the circumstances based on the contemplated closure, the resulted thereof will be the loss of the 498 jobs. Noting the dire effects which might be brought by the contemplated dismissal, the Federation is calling for the following for interventions:

➢ That concerted efforts are made to prevent the looming calamity amidst the skyrocketing levels of unemployment in the country.

➢ That the board members of Richards Bay coal terminal review their decision of further plunging our already ailing economy to distress by bringing to a halt the deadline of the 31st of January 2023 and allow the process for comprehensive engagements to ensue.

➢ That DMRE and all relevant stakeholders share their wisdom on measures to salvage the situation.

We pledge our undivided support and commitment as the Federation towards finding the most amicable means in mitigating the dire situation.

Issued by COSATU Mpumalanga

Thabo Mokoena-Provincial Secretary