Some Aurora workers remain unpaid

[] — A TOTAL of R800,000 has been paid towards the salaries of some Aurora Grootvlei miners from Springs, the department of labour said on Wednesday.

“[This] follows after the department took a case to get an undertaking from the employer (Aurora Empowerment Systems) to pay workers after failing to reimburse them for a year,” said departmental spokesperson Mishack Magakwe.

After the department issued a compliance order, the Aurora Grootvlei mine deposited just over R2 million into the department of labours’ account towards payments of its workers.

The mine is said to owe about 5,500 workers an estimated R15 million in outstanding salaries.

Magakwe said problems arose while paying workers because many arrived to claim payment but they had not lodged a formal complaint and their information could not be verified. They were therefore not paid out.

“About 300 workers did not arrive to collect their payment.”

Magakwe said workers should visit the Springs Labour Centre with verifiable bank details so that a bank transfer could be facilitated.

Workers owed money should also visit the centre to lodge a formal complaint and bring along information to support their claim.

Offices are open from 07.30 to 16:00 Monday to Friday, except on the December 24 and 31, 2010 when the offices will be closed at 10:00.

Last week, liquidator Enver Motala confirmed a newspaper report that some of the workers at Aurora’s Grootvlei mine had started receiving salaries after nine months of no pay.

He claimed that co-director Khulubuse Zuma had paid the money out of his own pocket.

“The money that was paid over to the workers was from Mr Zuma, from his pocket. He paid it over to the liquidators and the liquidators paid it over to the department of labour,” said Motala.

He said more money was on its way to the workers, but did not say how much.

Last week the politically connected Aurora group was given more time by the High Court in Pretoria to produce funding guarantees to buy the financially stricken Pamodzi Gold mine.

“The court has given them an extension until the 28th of February. By then, the guarantees are going to be issued by a Chinese company,” Motala told Sapa at the time.

“By then we will finalise this deal.”