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UASA urges intervention at RBM after heavy equipment set alight by community members 

The dangerous and criminal situation at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) needs swift and decisive intervention by pres. Cyril Ramaphosa,

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and the police to return order and safety to the mine’s operations.

The violence and destruction at RBM is out of hand and cannot be allowed to continue.

Yesterday afternoon, community members resorted to burning mine equipment in its feud with the mine, a deadly and ongoing dispute that included a local traditional leadership squabble and another in which locals are demanding to be employed at the mine.

Rio Tinto, the international mining company that owns RBM, threatened early last year to close the mine that employs about 5 000 workers. Rio Tinto has also threatened to hold back on a R6.5bn investment in RBM, which it had pledged during the Presidential Investment Summit late in late 2019.

After the murder of senior RBM manager Nico Swart last month and the burning of bulldozers and other heavy equipment yesterday, the company may well go through with it, leaving 5 000 workers out of a job.

RBM is the largest taxpayer in KwaZulu-Natal, contributing R6,2 billion annually. The mine and its workers deserve nothing less than immediate action to secure operations, jobs and safety.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.

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