Fury at Pamodzi

Kea' Modimoeng

Kea' Modimoeng

Tempers flared yesterday at Pamodzi Gold's Welkom operations when workers handed over a memorandum to management demanding their wages.

The workers only received 70percent of their salaries in February and nothing as yet for March.

Nzima Gcobani, National Union of Mineworkers branch chairperson at Pamodzi Gold Welkom, said workers' living conditions had deteriorated and that this might result in violence. "It is only promises and promises from the side of management and workers are very angry," he said.

He indicated that when the memorandum was handed over, workers nearly assaulted the acting general manager.

Gcobani said the workers' fury was also fueled by the fact that Fanie van Staden, the Pamodzi Welkom general manager, was on leave during "these tough times".

"Workers feel that he is running away from his responsibilities. His decision to go on leave at this time is just unfortunate."

Workers were informed that a senior official from the company's head office in Gauteng would address them today.

Enver Motala, chairperson of SBT Trust, the court-appointed joint provisional liquidator for the Orkney mines and joint judicial manager of Pamodzi's two other operations, said Best Rock, the company which has promised Pamodzi Gold a R200million loan, had until Tuesday to come up with proof that funding was available.

"Based on their strong commitment that the money will be here on Tuesday, we decided to give them more time," said Motala.

Responding to what would happen if Best Rock did not meet the Tuesday deadline, Motala said the trust would reassess the situation and evaluate options.

"I am currently in talks with JIC mining company to see if it can't inject some funds into Pamodzi Gold," said Motala.

Asked about the fate of the provisionally liquidated Orkney operations, he said they were hoping to "extend the process" so that it did not go into final liquidation.