Mine workers receive food parcels
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By Retselisitsoe khabo
246 Basotho mineworkers from BMR mines in South Africa who are affected by Covid-19 pandemic received food parcels from Lesotho chambers of mines through the ministry of labour and employment this week.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Labour Minister Keketso Rantso said like any other groups of people who lost their jobs due to Covid-19, the miners are struggling to feed their families too.
She outlined that when other citizens were receiving food parcels at their respective villages, mineworkers were singled out as if they were still working.
Minister Rantso said it is not only BMR miners who are affected but most of the mining companies in South Africa has called Basotho workers to return back to work but not all workers were recalled back to work by BMR mines.
Tšita Phala, speaking for BMR mine expressed his gratitude to the minister of labour and employment as well as Lesotho chambers of mines for giving them the nourishment of food parcels.
He said Rantšo always gave them the great welcome when they approached her office with their problems.
He added the ministry of labour has always been considerate when it comes to solving their problems.
Tšita also outlined that some of them already know that they have lost their jobs completely and with that being said he request that Lesotho chambers of mines consider giving them an opportunity in some of Lesotho mines as they have a good mining experience.
In addition, Mohale Ralikariki, chairman of Lesotho chambers of mines said after Minister Rantšo approached them to assist the BMR miners, they did not hesitate as they have realized the negative impact of Covid-19 to Lesotho miners.
Ralikariki said they witnessed the challenged of the 700 Liqhobong miners who lost their jobs due to closure of Liqhobong diamond mine.
Ralikariki said Lesotho lost about 120 million in a period of 12 months due to the closure of Liqhobong mine.
He also said within this period of Covid-19 Lesotho loses approximately 1.2 million in salaries a month only from these 246 miners.
He continued by saying this simply means that Covid-19 has not only affected their families but it also affected the country’s economy at large.