COSATU welcomes the settlement at Optimum Coal Mine and looks forward to its reopening

05 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the settlement agreement between the National Prosecuting Authority and Liberty Coal with regards to Optimum Coal Mine that had previously been owned by the infamous Gupta family and seized in response to the allegations of state capture and corruption.

Whilst the Federation agrees with government that those who stole from the state and workers need to face the full consequences of the law, including seeing their illegally obtained assets frozen, we were strongly opposed to the closing of Optimum Coal Mine as this sent hundreds of mine workers into the unemployment queue and plunged their families and host communities into absolute poverty and despair.  Meanwhile the scoundrels who have been alleged to have robbed the nation, have been allowed to live a life of obscene wealth in Dubai.

COSATU and our militant affiliate, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have worked tirelessly over the past few years to ensure that Optimum Coal Mine can be reopened.  We are pleased that these efforts are now bearing fruit.

We look forward to the owners of Optimum Coal Mine moving with speed to reopen the mine.   It is critical that when the mine recommences operations, the mine workers who had lost their jobs during the closure, are prioritised and reemployed.

This has been a very painful chapter for these workers and their families.  It is time that this chapter is closed and these mine workers are supported to rebuild their lives.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687