Press Statement, 19 February 2021
NUM SUPPORT ANY INITIATIVE AIMED AT RETRIEVING A CONTAINER TRAPPED WITH THREE MINEWORKERS UNDERGROUND AT LILY MINE SINCE FEBRUARY 2016
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will support any initiative or a process aimed at retrieving a container trapped with three mineworkers underground since February 2016 at the Lily Mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga.
The container was trapped with three workers Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende.
The NUM has never lost any hope that the container would be retrieved from underground. Those poor workers need to be brought to the surface so that their families could find closure and move on with their lives. The thoughts of having comrades Solomon Nyerende, Yvonne Mnisi and Pretty Nkambule deep down there are disturbing and highly unbearable.
Accordingly, as a reputable and well-experienced trade union, we always apply careful consideration not to temper into any space of business fraternity, we pledge that anyone who commits to the retrieval process must have a concrete plan.
This comes after the publication of the business rescue plan stating that the retrieval of the container is set to commence in the next 60 days and the payment of all outstanding wages to the former miners will be paid.
We are now in the fifth year. We need to bring confidence back to the Barberton community. As the NUM, we are in full support of any initiative that would resuscitate mining businesses in the area. We are prepared to share notes and experiences.
We are however very mindful of the fact that the retrieval process won't come cheap. We are also optimistic about the fact that the remains of the fallen workers Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende must be recovered.
Our appeal to all stakeholders - the government, through the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, owners of the Lily Mine and the business rescue practitioners is that let us all come on board.
Our strength as the NUM is that we have records. In the history of our existence, we have never had workers trapped in the mines and never recovered. We remained opposed to the insinuation purported by prophets of doom and gloom to maliciously suggest the erection of a tombstone while workers are still trapped underground.
For more information, please contact:
William Mabapa, NUM Deputy General Secretary, 083 880 4439
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257
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