Richards Bay Minerals closed for a third week

Thousands of employees at Richards Bay Minerals aren’t having a very festive holiday season, as the mining giant remains closed. The company shut operations three weeks ago amid escalating violence in the area. Two employees were shot and wounded. Provincial authorities met with senior mine management last week and announced operations would resume this week but this has not been the case. RBM is closed for a third consecutive week. KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says RBM was supposed to open.

“I spoke to the Managing Director on Monday. They were supposed to open on Tuesday. They’ve not opened because of logistics within themselves. We’ve made an arrangement that for now when they open, we will escort them. Zikalala’s efforts to restore stability at RBM suffered a major setback when one of the company’s main contractors, a member of the Mbuyazi family was gunned down.

According to National Union of Mineworkers representative Philani Nhlenyama, “Everyone is worried, this what is happening is traumatizing everyone, our kids as I’ve said. We are concerned that we don’t know our future. In a statement, the mine management says it’s assessing the situation and will only resume operations once it’s safe to do so. When that is, no one seems to know.

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