Debt administrator ‘pockets’ nearly half of miners’ repayments

Nearly half the money that seven Amplats miners are paying to a debt administrator and a law firm is being used for administrative costs.

Sake Beeld reported on Monday that Klerksdorp-based law firm Hannetjie van der Merwe and HVDM Administrators are pocketing 44% of the money Amplats is deducting from the seven workers’ salaries to repay their debt, according to papers filed by Amplats executive head Chris Griffith at the high court in Pretoria.

He argues this happens because legal fees for debt administration are outsourced. These costs are then added to the outstanding debt. Although the law allows this in some cases, Griffith argues it may not be done.

Amplats and the seven workers want debt administration – as determined by the Magistrate’s Court Act – declared unconstitutional.

Hannetjie Piennar, the founder and head of the law firm and HVDM, argues that the fees are strictly in accordance with the Act.


Cocktail of factors
It is believed that high levels of credit may have contributed to the cocktail of factors that led to the bloody clashes that took place between police and miners employed by platinum mining company Lonmin in the North West platinum belt in 2012. 

The Farlam commission of inquiry, which was appointed by the president to investigate the events that led to the tragedy, heard in November 2014 that wage increases for workers at Impala Platinum had a direct impact on the events at Lonmin in the run-up to the Marikana massacre in August 2012, according to counsel for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Police shot dead 34 miners in Marikana on August 16 that year, and many others were injured. They were striking for their monthly wage to be increased to R12 500.

Another 10 people were killed in the preceding week, including two policemen and two security guards. – Sapa, Staff reporter

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

Some black lives matter, others don’t

We condemn the killing of a black Americans, yet women, African foreigners and queer people are regularly abused and killed in SA

SA needs to restrain use of force by police

‘Less lethal’ weapons have resulted in deaths and severe injuries, yet there are still no guidelines

Don’t wage war against SA’s poor

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed heavy-handed, brutal and, at times, lethal action by some members of the police

The lockdown: South Africa’s test of its democracy

How South African citizens, the police and the army, and politicians behave during the 21-day lockdown will have far-reaching implications for our democracy

What Bernie Sanders needs to learn from black voters in South Africa

Senator Sanders must explicitly demonstrate that a US government that can guarantee universal healthcare is the best path to building long-term black wealth

Remapping African musics

Itinerant DJ and artist Mo Laudi works hard to ensure the continent’s sounds secure their rightful recognition
Advertising

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday