‘Hwange should give workers houses in lieu of salary arrears’

THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy has recommended that Hwange Colliery and Kamativi Mine give their houses to former and current workers in lieu of salary and pension arrears.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

This was revealed in the third report on the familiarisation visits by the committee to Ziscosteel, Hwange Colliery and Kamativi Mine.

The fact-finding mission was also aimed at allowing committee members to acquaint themselves with challenges faced by the former miners and current workers.

“All outstanding labour issues must immediately be resolved with particular emphasis to salaries as per settlement to avoid strikes caused by non-payment thereof. Local Government ministry to take over the town infrastructure for value and take responsibility for services such as roads, electricity and sewage treatment and shareholders to approve sale of houses to current and former employees in order to reduce debts owed to employees.”

This comes as Hwange miners’ wives have been camping at the company premises since January over salaries and pensions arrears and housing and sanitation disputes.
At Kamativi Tin Mine, the former employees accused their former employer of denying them ownership of the houses since 2002.

“Locals who worked and have been staying at the mine must be given company houses as happened to other mines or at worst they are given an option of renting to buy.

The new investor must build new houses for the workers as they start operating, the local authority should provide clean and safe water and refuse collection as a matter of urgency and residents must be given mining claims and be allowed to start mining co-operatives as a way of empowering them together with introduction of community share ownership to build schools and community halls as new investors start opening,” the report read.

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