Amplats launches fresh bid to find hurt ex-miners

Anglo American Platinum has announced a publicity campaign to try and track down thousands of ex-miners in the Eastern Cape and connect them to their pensions and other monies owed by funds.

DISCARDED: Former mineworker Kadephi Seku, 60, from Libode, who was left paralysed after an accident in an Amplats mine, shows X-rays of his damaged back. He was paid only R116 000 for 25 years of service when he was medically boarded Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA

Amplats media manager Mpumi Sithole said they had undertaken a community radio campaign targeting the Eastern Cape.

But one miner, Kadephi Seku, 60, of Libode, who broke his back in an Amplats mine, said he had received little to nothing after his boarding payout of R116000. He worked for the mine for 25 years.

Seku, who was tracked down by the Dispatch, said he was left paralysed in 2008 while working at Amandelbult Platinum mine near Rustenburg. He injured himself while lifting a heavy metal rod.

He spent six months in hospital, unable to do anything for himself.

After he was discharged, he was medically boarded.

A few months after he was boarded and back at his Mkankatho village home, he was paid his provident fund money of R116000, after 25 years service at the company.

“My employers came and dumped me in this village after I was injured in their mine. Today I cannot work and there’s nothing I can do to provide for my family,” said Seku.

The father of six said he expected his employers to at least assist him in claiming for injury on duty.

“The only money I got was the money for the years I worked there and I am not happy with that as well. I feel that there is more money that is owed to me.

“But the complaint I have now is about the money for my injuries. Who is going to pay this money?

“Why did the mine dump me after so many years of hard labour?”

Seku’s wife, Nolizile, said they had to give up two grandchildren for adoption because they could not afford to feed them.

“We had to release two of our grandchildren to people who are struggling to have children because we have no food to feed them.

“It was a tough decision but we had no choice because my husband can’t even work in the garden to plough vegetables because of his injuries,” said Nolizile.

Seku is just one of many forgotten ex-miners sent home to their villages after being injured on duty.

Another is Ntusi Mdyodyo of Mboya village in Willowvale. He was badly injured when a huge rock fell on him, crushing both legs.

“I am unable to walk because of the injuries from the mines.

“I’ve paid money to many people who said they will claim for me but nothing ever came of it,” he said.

Asked what they were doing for ex-mineworkers to access their money, Sithole said they had undertaken a community radio campaign targeting the Eastern Cape.

“We have also distributed posters and flyers at key community gathering areas like government offices and community halls,” said Sithole, adding that they had also hosted road shows in parts of the province.

“Our outreach efforts are supported by our partnership with Teba to assist with tracing beneficiaries and former employees’ family members,” he said. —