We were contacted by Neo Nong from the Legal Resource Centre who requested an intervention by Gift of the Givers to assist fellow humans who are in a terrible situation and are starving. They survive by eating cats (see picture), rats and wild vegetables to survive in the Kroondal region. Neo provided the following information:
"This tragedy dates back to 2009 when 3921 miners contracted to Murray and Roberts Cementation participated in an unprotected strike at Aquarius Mine (Kroondal Platinum Mine). After the initial legal action about a 1000 miners were dismissed from the mine and released from their contracts. Several were arrested and charged with public violence. The miners were blacklisted. Many haven't been able to find work since then. The ex-miners were evicted from their original hostel by the mine through police raids and many lost their documents and possessions.
There are now 203 miners living in a hostel called Circle and Labour accommodation; of these 145 are from Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique and 58 are from South Africa. They struggle to take care of themselves surviving on cats, rodents, wild animals, wild vegetables and through handouts provided by caring individuals. Thus far 158 miners have died. Many of them have been exposed to toxic chemicals whilst they were employed in the period up to 2009. They have various disease states, are malnourished, use traditional medicine to treat HIV, AIDS, TB because of no resources and no documentation to access treatment. Many have not been able to contact their families since 2009."
Gift of the Givers will be responding with FOOD AID today. Distribution will take place at 2 pm. We request the intervention of the relevant authorities to bring to closure this unacceptable human suffering. Foreign nationals should be assisted with documentation and repatriated to be united with their families. Practical solutions should be found. Pointing fingers, scoring political points and the like will serve no purpose. A compassionate, amicable solution should be finalized; six years is too long. Within the next few weeks we hope this suffering will be over. For further details contact Tapiwa Marima on 0843227575 or Neo Nong on 0760790513. Tapiwa is the Gift of the Givers Social Worker who visited the miners yesterday and Neo Nong is from the Legal Resource Centre.