Daily Archives: December 18, 2016

SOUTH AFRICA: MINING TOWNS GET R1.3 BILLION FOR INFRASTRUCTURE – PRES ZUMA

About R1.3 billion has been spent to provide coordinated support and to mitigate challenges with infrastructure provision in mining towns, says President Jacob Zuma.

In his end of year statement, President Zuma said the funds were provided to mining towns as at 31 March 2016.

“The partnerships formed in 2012 with mining companies following the Marikana tragedy, known as the Special Presidential Package aimed at revitalising mining towns, continues to yield results.

“Various government departments implement various projects in the mining towns currently. There are 351 informal settlements in mining towns that are receiving support from government’s National Upgrade Support Programme,” President Zuma said.

The 1970s mineworkers’ provident and pension fund has already paid over R20 million to 7 200 former mineworkers, while the Amplats provident fund has paid R6.4 million to 488 workers.

However, there is R10 billion of unclaimed former mineworkers’ retirement benefits in various pension and provident funds.

“The Financial Services Board is providing support to provident and pension fund administrators to identify former mineworkers who need to receive their pension and provident funds due to them, some dating back to the 1970s,” President Zuma said.

He said government continues to implement the recommendations of the Farlam Commission that was established after the Marikana tragedy, in which about 44 people were killed.

“Government lawyers have processed various claims, particularly for loss of support for the families of the deceased, for unlawful arrest and detentions, and will soon be paying out those affected, working with the legal teams of the affected persons or families of the deceased.

“Work is ongoing to improve housing in that area and to direct the mining company, Lonmin, to also build houses for their employees,” President Zuma said.

Other remedies include taking steps against all those, particularly within the police service, who were found to have committed criminality in the way they handled the situation in Marikana.

The prosecution authorities are working on the matter.

“With regards to healing, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo established the Marikana Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal Committee to promote healing, cohesion and lasting peace among the communities in Marikana,” he said.

The Department of Health has established one-stop service centres to bring health and compensation services to former and current mine workers in mining towns and in labour sending areas.

One-stop service centres have been established in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and Carletonville in Gauteng.

“The Mthatha centre is fully funded by government and more than 3 000 former mine workers have already made use of the centre’s services. Also, to date over 3 000 current and former miners have already made use of the Carletonville centre’s services,” President Zuma said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK