The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has called on the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to be vigilant of the mines owned by Tegeta Exploration and Resources (Pty) Ltd, in order to prevent a situation that occurred at Aurora Empowerment Systems, seven years ago.
There, directors stripped off assets of Pamodzi Gold and Orkney mines and sold them before declaring insolvency, leaving hundreds of workers destitute and without salaries.
Having been placed under a business rescue practitioner, Tegeta is a parent company of the 6 mining operations which account for more than 4000 jobs, namely Optimum, Koornfontein, Shiva Uranium, Brakfontein, Idwala and Vryheid Revival.
The committee is hopeful that a solution could still be found to rescue the mines and save jobs. “We are comforted by the fact that the Minister has paid an oversight visit to Optimum mine today to meet with stakeholders, with a view of finding a lasting solution,” said Mr Sahlulele Luzipo, Chairperson of the committee.
Mr Louis Kloppers, senior business rescue practitioner, said the mines were still productive, but a challenge was to find a bank. He said they currently bank with the Bank of Baroda which has since decided to leave the country at the end of March 2018.
The committee further raised a concern about the fact that mining companies can be placed under business rescue without consulting the DMR, saying that the process could be abused.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson, Sahlulele Luzipo