Protesters halt mining operations

2012-06-15 11:57
Sizwe sama Yende
A group of furious Ermelo residents have stopped operations at a local coal mine to protest against its employment of workers from other towns.

Toyi-toying youths from Wesselton township near Ermelo were earlier today protesting outside the entrance of the Golfview Colliery along the Ermelo/Hendrina road, demanding to see the mine’s management.

“This mine has a tendency of employing people from the township and then firing them after two weeks to replace them with workers from KwaZulu-Natal and other places,” said protester Wellington Dube over the phone.

“They must stop this tendency and employ local people. We’re not moving (from) here until the management meets us,” he added.

A number of police officers have been dispatched to the scene and the Msukaligwa local municipality’s local economic development unit has been trying to convince the youth to negotiate with Golfview’s management.

Golfview Colliery operations manager Rob Tryte said he was driving from Johannesburg to meet the protesters.

“We never had a problem with the community before. I’m going there now to find out what the problem is before I can comment,” Tryte said.

The mine is owned by Anker Coal and Mineral Holdings SA (Pty) Ltd, which also has another mine, Elandsfontein, in Emalahleni (Witbank).