The princely sum of R800,000 has been paid towards the salaries of some Aurora Grootvlei miners from Springs by the department of labour, while the mine is said to owe about 5,500 workers an estimated R15 million in outstanding salaries.
According to a spokesperson from the department of Labour, Mishack Magakwe, the department took a case to get an undertaking from the employer (Aurora Empowerment Systems) to pay workers after they have last been paid in February of this year. A compliance order has been issued ordering Aurora Grootvlei mine to deposit over R2 million into the department of labours' account towards payments of its workers.
Approximately 300 workers have, however, not been paid. According to the department of the affected workers arrived to claim payment but they had not lodged a formal complaint and their information could not be verified. They were therefore not paid out.
On the opposite side of town, however, the department consulted with management of Aurora Orkney operations and requested the latter to make the payments directly to the affected employees while ensuring compliance with the departmental order. In this instance all affected workers have received payment, albeit in accordance with departmental decision.
While the trade union UASA has appreciation for the proper governance of the monies to be paid out to the workers who had to endure extreme hardship since February, we feel that the department, through its office in Springs, could under the circumstances have made similar arrangements as at Orkney, thus avoiding any further setback to the already traumatised workers, instead of subjecting them to the normal departmental red tape.
Contact Frik van Straten, Sector Manager Gold, Cell nr. 0824635705 for more information/interviews.