Various mining issues get attention

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Issues related to mines, still the life blood of Merafong’s economy, have drawn attention during the past week.
Last Thursday, residents of Carletonville, Khutsong, Kokosi, Welverdiend and Wedela who are part of the MPPF (Merafong Progressive Partnership Forum) were bussed into East Driefontein (photo)to deliver a memorandum to Sibanye Gold’s board of directors.
Among other things, the MPPF asked this mining house to employ a minimum of 3 000 economically active members of local communities, either directly or by  alternative employment means like through contractors.
They also want the mine to help develop infrastructure and assist with skills development. As a starting point, they want local small and medium businesses to get a 25 per cent BEE status stake in its Mega Bus partnership contract. The MPPF is also,
among other things, asking for a skills development centre to be built in Glenharvie, where people from Merafong can also be trained. The group gave Sibanye Gold seven working days to respond to the demands.
Sibanye Gold was in the news last week when it became the third mining house in the Merafong area to announce job cuts. On 2 August, it announced that it would enter into consultation regarding the restructuring of its gold operations. This was owing to the ongoing losses at its Beatrix West and Cooke operations. Approximately 7 400 employees at all levels could be affected by this proposed restructuring.
In the meantime, the environmentalist, Ms Mariette Liefferink also warned that mining companies’ decreasing production may lead to environmental issues. Among other things, she says that Mintails’ decision to put some of its open cast mines between Krugersdorp and Randfontein in care and maintenance could lead to increased pollution of the Wonderfonteinspruit, which starts in that area and flows past Carletonville and Khutsong.

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