NUM welcomes the settlement agreement reached over Optimum Coal Mine

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) welcomes the settlement agreement reached over Optimum Coal Mine and Optimum Coal Terminal as settled in front of and ordered by the North Gauteng High Court. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Liberty Coal reached settlement agreement that will result in saving over five hundred jobs at Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga. More than 500 jobs are to be saved after the NPA  and the Liberty Coal negotiated a R462 million forfeiture settlement over mining rights. Under the agreement signed last week Liberty Coal gains ownership of Optimum Coal Mine and its export arm, the Optimum Coal Terminal.

The NUM calls on the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBTC) board to immediately give back Optimum’s train allocation so as to allow for the resumption of Optimum’s export capacity which will ensure that the re-opening of the mine forges ahead unhindered. “The NUM calls for the Liberty Coal to re-employ all the employees who lost their jobs during the time when Optimum Coal Mine was placed under business rescue. The NUM reiterates its position that the NPA’s preservation order against Optimum Coal Mine asserts was a final nail in the coffin of the workers who suffered at the hands of the Gupta family’s shenanigan”, said Bizza Motubatse, NUM Highveld Regional Chairperson. The NUM always maintained a position that the government failed to step in and use its powers to protect the poor workers while the Guptas brought the business to its knees and rendered it unable to pay employees salaries

“We are simply saying that we are happy that eventually the NPA has arrived into its senses For years now members of the NUM at Optimum Coal Mine has been suffering due to unemployment. When the NPA decided to close that particular mine it had negative impact to our members who were unable to work for their families. We are saying to members now the grass is greener. As the NUM Highveld Region we welcome the stance, because this matter has been long overdue. It was very difficult for our members who are working there to be able to feed their families, and to take their children to school. We are hoping that the NPA will not come back at a later stage and decide to derail this particular process”, Motubatse said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *