National 16.9.2016 07:09 am

Still no salaries for stranded Diro mineworkers

Employees of DIRO mine near the town of Kathu, protest on the balcony of their company offices at Tugela House, 9 September 2016, Centurion. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Employees of DIRO mine near the town of Kathu, protest on the balcony of their company offices at Tugela House, 9 September 2016, Centurion. Picture: Jacques Nelles

About 40 workers drove from the Northern Cape to the Diro offices in Centurion to demand payment.

The mineworkers allegedly owed R28 million by the company owned by former ANC Northern Cape chairperson and premier Manne Dipico sleep on the streets of Tshwane after they were evicted from the company premises by masked security guards.

Some Diro Manganese workers said they were told their salaries would reflect in their bank accounts at noon yesterday, but that did not happen. They also claimed they had not received any feedback from their employer.

They alleged that more than 250 workers have not been paid their salaries since April. About 40 workers drove from the Northern Cape to the Diro offices in Centurion to demand payment.

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Yesterday, more workers arrived at the mine’s offices in Centurion. Initially, they slept at Diro’s offices but on Tuesday night they were allegedly evicted from the company premises by security guards.

A letter seen by The Citizen from Gavin Gainsford, Diro Manganese’s business rescue practitioner, said the company was under business rescue and “payment of the outstanding salaries and wages will be dependent on the terms of the PCF (post-commencement finance) and the turnaround plan”.

Attempts to contact Dipico and Gainsford for comment yesterday were fruitless. One Dipico employee, Lesego Seleke, said: “We have not been paid our salaries, meaning we did not achieve what we came here for. Since Tuesday, we have been sleeping on the streets.

“We were sleeping in a taxi and in our cars. But the taxi drove back home and we don’t know where we will sleep now.” Peter Marope, whose finger was allegedly amputated while he was on duty, said: “I am unable to access proper medication because my medical aid has not been paid by the employer.

“The money has been deducted from our salaries, but it did not reach the service provider. I now take Grandpa Headache Powder to ease the pain.” EFF leader in Centurion Tsholo Mosingathi apparently offered some of the workers accommodation “out of pure humanity”.

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