Workers protested, burning tyres at the mine’s gate a week ago over unpaid wages stretching over months.
The Democratic Alliance says the State Capture by the Gupta family which got the Optimum Mine in Middelburg to the hands of the Guptas has really impacted on Eskom’s capacity to generate electricity.
The party on Friday described the mine as the “face of State Capture” and said had it not been for it Eskom wouldn’t be struggling with coal supply.
Eskom is reportedly having a serious coal shortage, with a number of power plants having few days of coal left.
The trouble faced by the Gupta mine are a result of the closure of their bank accounts by the four major banks after being accused of corruption, money-laundering and capturing the state, leading to them being unable to run their businesses, including the Optimum Coal Mine.
Leaders of the party including Mpumalanga Premier candidate Jane Sithole, Parliamentarian Natasha Mazzone and Geordin Hill-Lewis visited the mine last week Friday where workers had burnt tyres, protesting over unpaid wages which they said stretched over a period of several months.
Mazzone said the Gupta family through Tegeta Exploration and Resources which bought the mine from Glencore in 2016 “pillaged” the mine and “caused great havoc”.
“Workers have not been paid and the country is experiencing load-shedding because coal is not being mined. So we are here because Optimum Coal Mine is the very face of state capture,” Mazzone told the media.
She said what needed to happen now was for public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan and mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe to come together and “sort out this problem”.
“It is also of utmost importance that these rich fat cats are brought to book – they have been earning money while workers who have done their jobs diligently have not been paid,” she said.
“We cannot have poor families starving while these fat-cats prosper at their expense,” Mazzone said.
She said her party would raise the issue in Parliament.
She added the workers were bearing the brunt of state capture, something they have nothing to do with.
“We cannot allow those implicated in corruption get off scot free, whilst the victims of their crimes suffer in silence. We will absolutely raise this in Parliament, the DA is the voice of the people and we will represent those who are suffering as a result of state capture,” she said.
(edited by ZK)
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The poison of former Premier DD Mabuza will infect the whole country, doing to South Africa what it did to Mpumalanga.
The DA wants to offer the people of Mpumalanga a new beginning – under a provincial and national leadership that is honest and committed to improving the lives of all the residents of this incredible province.
Our plan for Mpumalanga and South Africa is to fight corruption, to open fair access to long-term jobs, to create an honest and professional police service, to speed up the delivery of services, and to secure our borders so that everyone living in SA is doing so legally.
A DA government in Mpumalanga would be the antidote to David Mabuza’s poison.
Mpumalanga needs a remedy urgently – because the Mabuza poison has spread to every single part of this province, including to eMalahleni municipality here, which has collapsed into bankruptcy under the weight of his corruption.
#Maimane launched the party’s TeamOneSouthAfrica in eMalahleni on 2 November 2018
If we don’t act soon, the whole country will be infected.
Fellow South Africans, we are just one heart attack away from having this man as our president. In fact, we may be just one spiked drink away.
With Mpumalanga’s record of political assassinations, we would be naïve not to consider this as a risk.
In South Africa, the deputy president tends to become president.
So, one way or another, we face the real threat of Mabuza as president.
And then his poison will infect the whole country, doing to South Africa what it did to Mpumalanga.
He will steal the whole country just to buy political power to stay on top.
First, Mpumalanga’s education department got infected, when Mabuza was provincial head.
Everyone knows that he stole millions of rands meant for schools and schoolchildren and used it to buy political loyalty so that he could accumulate enormous political power.
He used that political power as a bargaining chip to become deputy president of South Africa. That’s right.
He stepped on your children’s heads to climb the ladder of power.
Do you know that nearly a quarter of primary schools in Mpumalanga still have pit toilets?
That’s the price your children have paid for his rise to (almost) the top.
As MEC for Agriculture, he infected the land claims process.
Do you know that pretty much all land restitution claims in Mpumalanga while he was MEC were fake? He was pocketing the money meant for poor black farmers.
As Premier he turned a blind eye to the corruption in his administration, to secure political support. He syphoned off money from public services in Mpumalanga, all the time using it to open more and more ANC branches, to “buy” more and more ANC delegates.
The votes of those delegates, bought with money meant for service delivery in Mpumalanga, became his bargaining chip at the ANC’s conference in Nasrec last year.
He gave those votes to Ramaphosa’s faction, in return for the deputy presidency.
He has sacrificed your futures, pushing you down, to get himself to the top.
By stomping on your lives and the lives of your children like stepping stones, he has climbed to a position that allows him to infect the whole country, to steal from the national purse, and to shape South Africa’s future for years to come. Is that what we want for our country? For our children? For ourselves?
Fellow South Africans, Mpumalanga has been cursed with the worst leadership of any province. Of all the thieves operating in South Africa, DD Mabuza is the worst by far.
He even makes neighbouring thief, Ace Magashule, look tame.
He is a cruel, dangerous man who will stop at nothing to get ahead.
Since 2009, we’ve heard of many, many political assassinations of people who have tried to expose corruption or contest for power. We can all put two and two together and get four.
No one and nothing in Mpumalanga has escaped Mabuza’s poison. Mpumalanga has such incredible potential. Its people should be rich from tourism, agriculture and mining.
This province could bless its people with good, prosperous lives.
But instead, all the news coming out of Mpumalanga is bad news, as if the sun is setting on Mpumalanga.
We hear of collapsing municipalities that together owe Eskom over R4 billion and are about to be thrown into darkness because they cannot pay for electricity.
We hear of communities without water for days on end. We see sewers overflowing.
We hear of youth unemployment that is the highest in South Africa.
We hear that eMalahleni has one of the highest murder rate and is one of the highest areas of criminal activity in South Africa.
We hear of Mpumalanga’s collapsing healthcare system, where the number of health workers has halved in the past eight years and where the department has lost R6 billion rand (that’s six thousand million rand) to irregular expenditure in the past two years.
We see roads here becoming severely dilapidated and filled with potholes. No wonder tourists choose to go elsewhere.
Mpumalanga has been poisoned by Mabuza.
All this devastation we can put on Mabuza’s shoulders. And now that there’s nothing left to steal, he is looking to infect the whole country.
The DA is the antidote to Mabuza’s poison.
Our offer is to fight corruption by giving a 15-year jail sentence to those who are found to be corrupt.
Where the DA governs, public money is spent on delivering to the people. We take a zero-tolerance approach to corruption.
Our brand is synonymous with clean audits and good governance.
Vote DA in 2019 to rid Mpumalanga and SA of the infection of corruption that Mabuza and the ANC have spread. Vote DA to build one SA for All.
*Maimane is the national leader of the Democratic Alliance
A nomination list shows she is an uncontested candidate.
DA shadow health MEC Jane Sithole is set to be elected unopposed when a provincial congress is held soon.
Local media reports nominations for the Mpumalanga DA conference have closed and the list shows Sithole will emerge unopposed.
The DA has the position of chairperson and that of leader.
Sithole served as the provincial chairperson and James Masango as the provincial leader.
In an interview with a Mbombela weekly after nominations had concluded, Sithole said she was humbled “she will not face a fight to be elected”.
“I worked hard on the ground so that, if the time comes, I would be deserving. I didn’t expect it to be so smooth,” she said.
“Politics is not a calling, but you cannot do this if you don’t have the passion for it. Otherwise it will frustrate you. It is a job where you give and sometimes you don’t get anything back.
“I am very humbled and honoured,” she added.
(edited by ZK)
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The opposition party in the Mpumalanga province says all it saw was an ANC campaign that was made to appear like a Legislative sitting.
The Democratic Alliance in the Mpumalanga province has called for the scrapping of the Taking Legislature to the People, saying the reason they decided to not be part of last week Friday’s closing session was because the sitting had been reduced to an ANC roadshow.
The Mpumalanga legislature has been with the people of Mhluzi the whole of last week (13 to 17 Mar) at the Themba Senamela stadium, Middelburg and Premier David Mabuza addressed the sitting on its last day on Friday, responding to the issues raised by the community members.
SEE ALSO: Sedibe booed, heckled by community members
DA leader James Masango said they stand opposed to ANC’s roadshow during Taking Legislature to the People.
“While community members are invited to attend and air their concerns about issues affecting them, no resolutions are taken at TLP to ensure that there’s a follow-up on issues brought forward. What is worse is that this time, Legislature Speaker, Thandi Shongwe, removed the questions to the MEC’s item from the agenda, and this squashes any chance of the House holding the MEC’s to account,” he said.
He said an amount of over R30 million has been used in the past few years taking the legislature to various municipalities but the programme always gets “reduced to a week-long ANC roadshow”.
“To date, Nkomazi and Bushbuckridge are still without access to water, in Lekwa, housing and sewage are still a problem, eMalahleni is still facing service delivery problems and now Steve Tshwete will remain unchanged after TLP leaves the area.
“The DA calls for the TLP programme to be scrapped in its entirety because as it
stands, it is failing on its constitutional mandate of law-making, oversight of the executive, and facilitation of public involvement and participation.
“The programme must be replaced with a more intensified oversight programme that puts people first to ensure the improvement of service delivery,” Masango said.
(edited by ZK)
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