The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the Matlosana region in the North West said on Monday that they would march to Harmony Gold in Vaal Reefs Orkney to raise concerns around safety.
Harmony Gold bought various shafts in Vaal Reefs Orkney from AngloGold Ashanti and took over the operations in March 2018.
NUM Matlosana regional secretary Masibulele Naki said since Harmony took over, there has been an increase of illegal miners who are freely staying on the mine’s property and were allegedly terrorising and raping women in the area.
“We urge all community members within Vaal Reefs Orkney to join the protest to raise their safety concerns to the company regarding the mine’s properties being used as hubs by some rapists and illegal miners,” said Naki.
Naki said there was an incident of a woman raped by around 15 illegal miners and the mine has done nothing so far to ensure that its properties are not the hubs of rapists.
Despite all the dangers faced by workers and community at large, Harmony Gold was refusing to provide transport for workers from their residential areas to shafts.
“The exploitative behaviour of Harmony Gold is evident in the way it approaches the current wage negotiations. Harmony Gold is not willing to increase salaries like their industry peers in the Gold Sector.”
“There has to be a change of heart by Harmony Gold or NUM Matlosana Region will have no other option except to mobilise all workers to withdraw their labour,” said Naki.
The march to Moab Khotsong will take place on Tuesday.