COSATU Mpumalanga notes the developments in the Lily Mine tragedy

08 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions(COSATU) in Mpumalanga notes the latest developments in the Lilly Mine tragedy. Eight years after the disaster that occurred on the 5th of February 2016, the Federation still mourns and remembers the three (3) employees namely: Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyirenda and Yvonne Mnisi who lost their lives.

A portion of the crown collapsed and plunged into a sinkhole. The collapse is now known to have been caused by illegal mining inside the crown pillar. The mine has since then been under business rescue administrated by Arqomanzi.

Recently, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, convened a meeting with various stakeholders. At the meeting, he expressed disapproval towards the litigators and the Business Rescue Practitioner (BRP) for allowing the rescue process to take longer. He mentioned that the remains of the lost employees need to be recovered and the mine to be re-opened.

The minister further outlined that the litigations and court actions are to be ceased and a resolution must be found, a sentiment which is fully supported by the federation.

We further note that Vantage Goldfields who owns Lilly Mine responded by presenting the following:

·      * As the owners, they have a mine plan that has been approved and are focused on reopening and recovering the remains as quickly as possible.

·       * Vantage has initial funding of US$25 Million, US$55million and R1.5Billion which will fully pay former employees, reopen, and expand the mine.

COSATU recognizes the immense hardships faced by ex-employees, their families, and the local community at large. The reopening of the mine would significantly improve their lives and save them from deep poverty.  The families of the workers who tragically lost their lives must be assisted to find closure and afforded the dignity they deserve.

Issued by COSATU Mpumalanga

For more information, please contact:

Thabo Mokoena (Provincial Secretary)
Mobile: 073 750 2041