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Supra ally demands mines in Madibeng region hire locals

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Image: Phill Magakoe

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo's ally and controversial businessman Robert Ngwenya on Wednesday demanded that all mines located in the Madibeng municipality employ 1 000 local people each no later than next Tuesday.

Ngwenya‚ a chairman of the Villages‚ Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) chamber of commerce‚ also vowed that Mahumapelo would return as the province's premier.

To this end‚ he said‚ current premier Job Mokgoro‚ who has clipped VTSD’s wings‚ must enjoy the office while it lasts because should he (Ngwenya) so wish he would mobilise the community to bring him down.

Ngwenya‚ circled by more than 5 000 residents from villages of Madibeng‚ marched to three mines - Hernic‚ Crocodile River and Lonmin - in Marikana to demand jobs for local people and for business bias to be shown in favour of business people affiliated to the VTSD.

His comments characterised by war talk‚ Ngwenya warned that should the mine owners not accede to his demands as per the ultimatum‚ a bloodbath would be inevitable.

According to him‚ the affected mines have been refusing to hire local people and give 30% of business to local suppliers.

Moreover‚ VTSD had been undermined since Mahumapelo’s fall as premier.

"Don't be fooled to think because Supra is no longer premier that VTSD is non-existent‚" he said.

"We are giving you 48 hours to employ our people and we want our 30% beneficiation from business. You have no option but to accede to our demands.

"We will shame the mine owners with their blood if they do not understand that we mean business. We will fight fire with fire‚ force with force."

Turning his sights on Mokgoro‚ he said: "No current premier can take our rights away from us. He (Mokgoro) can listen to his friends but ours as VTSD is that we are here to stay.

"We will not take rubbish statements from someone who doesn't even understand what is happening. The current premier must be careful because if he does not listen to us we will bring our premier Supra Mahumapelo back with these masses."

Mokgoro has since coming into office refused to give VTSD the recognition it enjoyed under Mahumapelo.

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