COSATU and SACP in Mpumalanga are shocked and disgusted by the contemplated ceasing of mining operations at Optimum Coal Mine PTY (Ltd) by Optimum Coal Terminal Company which will result in more than 498 job losses.

The Congress of the South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party are deeply disappointed with the planned dismissal of estimated 498 workers employed by Optimum Coal Terminal Company contracted to mine at Optimum coal by 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 terminal.

In the circumstances based on the contemplated closure, the result thereof will be the loss of the 498 jobs. Noting the dire effects which might be brought by the contemplated dismissal, both the Federation and vanguard party are calling for the following for interventions:

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

Ø  That the board of directors for Richards Bay coal terminal review their ultimatum to further plunge our already ailing economy to distress by withdrawing the deadline of the 31st of January 2023 and allow the process for comprehensive engagement to ensue.

Ø  That DMRE ministry under the stewardship of Minister Gwede Mantatshe and all relevant stakeholders come on board to salvage the situation.

Ø  That both the SACP and COSATU convene urgent bilateral meeting with DMRE and RBCT respectively by early January 2023 find amicable resolution of the impasse.

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

Issued by COSATU and SACP Mpumalanga

COSATU Provincial Secretary

David Thabo Mokoena


SACP Provincial Secretary

Lucky Mbuyane