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We've nothing to show for giving our lives to mine

By Penwell Dlamini | Jul 05, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SINCE receiving his last payment in February, a Grootvlei mineworker is hoping his employers will give him what he believes is due to him.

Mxokozeli Tomsana, 52, of Lesotho, is finding it hard to make ends meet. He has worked on South African mines for the past 34 years.

He came to the Grootvlei mine in 2007 when it was owned by Jongingozi Mining Services.

He has a wife and six children to feed back home in Lesotho. While working in the mine last year the contaminated water sipped through into his worn boot, causing a sore on his left foot.

"I was sleeping at the mine clinic and only coming to the hostel to eat. But the clinic closed on March 19 and I had to move back to my room in the hostel," Tomsana said.

"I was taking medication for the sore but I don't have it now, so the sore is getting worse.

"My body is weak and I can't walk fast enough to steal the beans from the nearby farms like the young men. All I want is to get my money and head back home," he said.

Behind the two blocks of hostels are family units. Joseph Ncaphayi is one of the residents. The units have electricity but no water supply.

Ncaphayi said he last got paid his salary at the end of August last year before the mine ownership changed from Pamodzi to Aurora.

He lives with his wife Nolungile and their three children in the family units. He cannot work now because he suffers from TB. He also cannot provide for his family.

The family lives on piece jobs that Nolungile gets from nearby suburbs. On a good day she makes R70.

"I've been working in this mine since 1977 and I have nothing to show for it," Ncaphayi said.

"I don't know what will happen to me next. I'm just waiting."


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