Elderly widows of miners and former miners, now pensioners, braved the heat to make their voices heard. They are refusing to be invisible.
Mineworkers and retired mineworkers are adding their voices and support to that of the Saldanha community reeling from the imminent loss of almost 1,000 jobs after the announcement of a February 2020 closure of Saldanha Steel on the West Coast in November.
On Thursday afternoon, a group of around 140 people arrived at Parliament to highlight various issues and to gain direct attention from decision-makers.
ArcelorMittal’s closure of the Saldanha Steel mill has seen a desperate community call for the government to keep the mill open. They do not want a handout, but a fair opportunity to work a mill which they believe is still profitable and viable. Their voices are being joined by others in the broader steel and mining community. They are uniting in their plight – using the opportunities they create separately, to strengthen their voices together.
This was clear at Parliament when groups from three organisations answered the call from the South African Social and Economic Development Forum (SASEDF) to picket at the gates of Parliament. The Ex Mine Workers, Mining Fighters of…