Community demands employment

Residents of Emjindini Trust marched to Galaxy Gold Reefs Mine (formerly Agnes) on Monday to hand over a memorandum of demands to the mine management.

Community leader Thokozani Thwala said that as the community of Emjindini Trust, they have noted with dismay that the mine was choosing to employ outsiders instead of residents.

“Our people are suffering on the ground. The mine executives continue to get rich at the expense of our people. The community at large does not benefit from the mine.
“The few employed are used like condoms – they are dumped after being used,” Thwala said.

During the march, the residents blockaded all roads using tree trunks and rocks. No cars were allowed to enter or exit the area. The schools were also shut down for the day. The people who work around Barberton were also affected, as there was no transportation. Police monitored the situation.

Among the workers’ demands are
• The mine must employ 300 people from the community
• It must provide local businesses with tenders
• It must build a permanent structure for the youth centre, which must also be used by the mine as a training centre
• Former workers who were affected
by the mine in the past should be compensated
• The mine license must be handed to an investor who can operate it properly
• Skills development, scholarships and bursaries should be provided to locals
• The mine must also provide
transport to learners from
KaMadakwa Ndlovu
• The mine must build community halls at KaMadakwa Ndlovu and Emjindini Trust, and a primary school at KaMadakwa Ndlovu.

The mine management could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

Richard Nkosi

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