The lucrative Gupta-owned mines are practically falling apart, and the Guptas are nowhere to be found. This has been a huge inconvenience for the workers at the mines, who are now without basic working equipment and have not had their salaries paid on time, The Sunday Times reports.
The Gupta brothers bought several coal mines – Optimum Coal, Koornfontein Shiva Uranium and Brakfontein – in North West and Mpumalanga.
These mines have been placed under business rescue after India’s Bank of Baroda announced its exit from South Africa.
The businesses have now taken to severe cost-cutting measures that have left the mines with broken machinery and without even stationery, the Sunday paper reports. Underpaid employees reportedly don’t have proper hard hats and gumboots, and have been told to drink less milk.
A supervisor who would not be named told the paper broken machinery had to be fixed by using replacement parts from other machinery, and in some cases, “Chinese parts” were used to repair these machines, but they broke constantly.
The situation has taken a toll on the workers and supervisors, who are still expected to meet production targets despite the lack of equipment.
The Gupta brothes, Atul and Ajay, are still on the run from South African authorities.