COSATU welcomes the Optimum Coal Mine High Court ruling

09 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions(COSATU) in Mpumalanga welcomes the Pretoria High Court’s approval of a settlement order that will allow the Optimum Coal Mine to exit business rescue and begin the process of rebuilding the mine.

A joint approach by Optimum Coal Mine and its employees, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Liberty Coal and other vested parties to the Pretoria High Court was to request an expedited forfeiture hearing for an agreement involving a structured forfeiture of property.

According to the settlement, Liberty Coal mine will pay a total of R461.7 million to the state in place of the confiscation of property under the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA). Furthermore, a R100 million will be paid immediately, and the remaining balanced over two years. All funds will be overseen by an independent administrator and will be distributed to eligible creditors.

The Optimum Coal Mine business rescue plan, the mine’s business, assets, and compromised liabilities will be transferred from OCM, the former Gupta-owned company, to Liberty Coal, cutting all remaining links with the Guptas. Liberty Coal will become responsible for repaying outstanding creditors and recapitalizing the mine.        

COSATU welcomes the order as it will save jobs and protect the future of the workers and the greater Hendrina community who rely on the mine for their livelihood.   

Issued by COSATU Mpumalanga

For more information, please contact:

Thabo Mokoena (Provincial Secretary)
Mobile: 073 750 2041