The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Limpopo want all mines in the province closed in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement yesterday, the EFF said mining houses, controlled by white monopoly capital, continued to put the lives of workers in danger by forcing them to go to work in the midst of the raging Covid-19 in pursuit of profit.
EFF provincial leader and chairperson Jossey Buthane said: “We are disturbed by the mining sector in Sekhukhune which took Sekhukhune region from zero to the epicentre level of Covid-19 in Limpopo. Mining companies controlled by white monopoly capital continued to put the lives of workers in danger by forcing them to go to work in the midst of the raging Covid-19 in pursuit of profit.”
Buthane said the EFF had warned the region about preventative measures put in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
“We warned them and they did not listen. Their arrogance has now led us to where we are in relation to Covid-19 in Limpopo. It is a pity that it is not the mine bosses that get infected with coronavirus because they are not in the shafts but our black people, working in these mines, are the ones getting infected,” he said.
Buthane said the EFF further demanded that Marula Mine in Tubatse/Fetakgomo should be closed and treated like any other institution that had such high infections within short space of time with full benefits for workers.
The region, which has a total of 28 mining houses in the area, surprised all and sundry recently when one of its mines, Marula Platinum registered a total of 13 mine workers who tested positive for Covid-19. The workers and just returned to work following government’s decision to relax some of the regulations in an endeavour to swell the economy.
About 3,300 mine-workers were called to return to work between 17 and 20 April where they were screened and tested for the virus. A further 130 employees were later reported for duty and were screened on May 4 with 13 of them testing positive.
The EFF further reiterated its call for the banning of the sale of alcohol in the province, saying the beverage was the main contributing factor in the increased crime rate in the province and beyond the province’s borders.
Buthane said since the lifting of the ban, several cases of gender-based violence, road carnage and contact crime in general had been reported in the country within 24 hours of opening liquor outlets.
“We reiterate that the premature lifting of the ban was not in the best interest of the majority of the people of the province and of the country,” he said.