Marula mine to shut down if the protests continue

Marula Platinum Mine lost four weeks of production recently.

DRIEKOP – The past 12 months have been a challenging time for Marula Platinum Mine. Production has been halted on more than five occasions and there have been several violent strikes orchestrated by communities surrounding the mine.

Residents demand a variety of needs such as jobs, bursaries, business opportunities, adherence to the social labour plan, and development of local villages.

Steelburger/Lydenburg News recently had an interview with the mine’s communications officer, Reuben Mthembu regarding the challenges the mine faced. “The recent disruptions were at the Driekop shaft, but it affected the entire mine,” revealed Mthembu. He said the turmoil had led to the mine temporarily suspending operations in February 2015.

According to Mthembu, they have lost weeks of production since the beginning of the year. “Marula has suffered great losses as a result of community protests against the mine. Since the beginning of 2017, we lost almost four weeks of production due to these disturbances as we had to send workers home in the interest of safety and security.”

According to the Marula management the perpetual interruption of mine operations by the communities is detrimental to the future of the mine and will most likely lead to its closure, which will translate into job losses.

The mine recently held talks with the communities. Currently the situation is calm and workers are back at work.

Gilbert Motseo

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