/ 20 May 2011

Aurora told to pay up or close down

In a bid to force Aurora Empowerment Systems to pay outstanding salaries or close its doors, trade union Solidarity on Friday served a liquidation application of R3.1-million on Aurora.

Aurora is currently trying to secure the funding to pay for Pamodzi Gold’s Grootvlei mine near Springs and its Orkney mine in the North West province.

Aurora now has until the end of this month to oppose the liquidation application or face a high court hearing early in June.

Solidarity has also urgently requested the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Water Affairs to intervene on the environmental crisis facing the mines before the assets face “total collapse”.

“The liquidation application is the only way to force Aurora to pay the outstanding claims for salaries and fringe benefits worth millions of rand to demoralised Aurora employees,” said Solidarity deputy general secretary Gideon du Plessis.

The trade union said that despite the social collapse, the looting of the Springs and Orkney mine assets is another reason why Aurora should not be allowed to manage the mines.

Du Plessis said Aurora stripped the mining asset completely of its value by pulling everything down and selling it as scrap.

“Not one of the 13 shafts at the Grootvlei and Orkney mines is currently in a working condition and most of the shafts have either been stripped bare or have been flooded,” Du Plessis said.

The trade union has also petitioned a judicial inquiry into Aurora and demanded that the Pamodzi liquidators be held accountable for their lack of action against Aurora. — I-Net Bridge