Ex-miners call for Colville operation to be shut down
BENEFICIARIES of the De Beers 2005/2007 Retrenchees Trust marched to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) in Kimberley yesterday to demand the immediate shutdown of the Colville Tailing Mineral Resource Operation, as they claim they do not benefit from it.
The beneficiaries handed over a memorandum of demands, in which they accused the department of ignoring their numerous requests to intervene and facilitate in the running of the plant.
The memorandum was accepted by DMR regional manager Ndlelenhle Zindela, who promised to respond within the next 14 days, after investigating the allegations.
The beneficiaries raised concerns regarding what they referred to as “continued contractual breaches around the daily running of the plant”.
They were presented with the plant by De Beers Consolidated Mines in 2005 after they were retrenched.
The beneficiaries yesterday demanded that all reports pertaining to the operalisation of the plant be tabled from April 2020 to date, as they said they do not receive updates from the trustees.
They also demanded a separate report on the expansion programme of the mine, as they learned that it was recently expanded without their knowledge.
They complained that the beneficiaries were not considered for employment after the mine was expanded and that they were not informed that an application for the expansion was made.
A spokesperson for the beneficiaries, Lesley Mothomme, indicated that they only learned that the mine was expanded when they marched to it to demand answers from the contractor.
The beneficiaries added that they want a comprehensive report on the diamonds mined, including the number of carats. They want to be presented with the register for scrutiny.
They also demand that an audited financial statement be made available to them.
They said that they want the DMR to mitigate the election of new trustees as soon as possible.
According to the beneficiaries, they have been engaging directly with Zindela for years and he “keeps on making empty promises”.
They said they would escalate their issues to the Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources, Gwede Mantashe, and the portfolio committee on mineral resources if they do not receive a positive response within the promised time frame.
“We have already informed your director general, Thabo Mokoena, about the challenges of this Social and Labour Plan. That plant should have been shut down because they have already appropriated that expansion. We want to know why the DMR allows that. They are using sorting areas which are not in our terms and conditions, which are not 45km outside of Kimberley,” said Mothomme.
“So we are now leaving this matter in the hands of the DMR and they must respond to our request.”
Zindela told the beneficiaries that the DMR would “investigate all the allegations and respond within the time frame” set out.