Residents march against closure of Gupta accounts

The following is a memorandum that the residents of Middelburg submitted to NedBank, FNB, Absa and Standard Bank on Tuesday, demanding the banks think about the effects it will have on the thousands of workers once the accounts are closed.

We, the affected community of Steve Tshwete local municipality in Mpumalanga, have gathered here from all areas affected by the irrational decision of the Banks to close Koornfontein coal mine accounts.

We have converged here carrying the burden of thousands of workers and their families to make the following non-negotiable demands.

We demand the following, that:

1. The banks must ensure that workers at Koornfontein coal mine do not lose their jobs.

2. The bank accounts must be reopened to allow workers to receive their salaries.

3. If the company closes, the banks must take full responsibility of  implementing all SLP projects that Koornfontein coal mine currently undertakes in which most importantly training of unskilled/unemployed community members and workers.

4. If the company closes, the banks must undertake to give the same value of contracts to all local contractors that Koornfontein coal mine empowers. These demands are directed to all the banks individually and collectively.

The banks cannot let the ordinary workers of the mine and their families to suffer because of their own political agenda. We expect an urgent action plan and programs on these demands within the next seven (7) working days. Non concession to these demands will be met with the necessary response, as of the 1 October 2017 we will sit inside your banks for food and work, until you accede to our demands.

These demands are genuine and should be acceded to with immediate effect, because we cannot afford to wait any longer as we will have no work and we and our families will die of hunger.