Johannesburg - A three-week long strike at Lonmin's Marikana
mine has taken its toll on workers who see no choice but to approach cash loan
outlets for help.
The no-work-no-pay strike started last month with workers
refusing to go back to work unless their wage demand was met.
There are at least three cash loan outlets in the small
At Tshelete Cash Loan, a Lonmin employee, who wanted to
remain anonymous, said on Tuesday that his monthly salary amounted to R7 800
This included allowances and overtime payment.
His take-home pay came to about R5 000 - money he had not
been earning since the strike.
"The last time I was at work was during the first week
of August. I came to borrow money. I don't have any money left."
He hails from Limpopo and lives at Majakaneng village, about
15km from Marikana. As an existing client at Tshelete Cash Loan, he managed to
borrow R1 500.
At least R1 000 would be sent home to his family in Limpopo,
"I am going back to work tomorrow. I will risk it
because I do not have a choice. We are not sure when the strike will end."
Some of his colleagues had also decided to return to work.
"If you live in Nkaneng in Wonderkop you know you
cannot go to work. It is very dangerous. People who go to work live in other
areas and are picked up in minibus taxis."
Assistant manager at Tshelete, Sonnyboy Ditshele, said
striking workers had been coming in numbers to borrow cash.
The company had no choice but to turn away new clients who
work at Lonmin, he said.
"I can only help existing clients even though they are
on strike because we already have a relationship with them. We cannot lend (to)
new clients from Lonmin."
Ditshele turned away six workers who wanted to try their
"I cannot risk lending them money. No one knows what
will happen at Lonmin."
Some of the miners who were turned away said they were
afraid to go to work.
"Some of my neighbours are among the strikers. I can't
risk going to work because they will notice," said one of the workers.
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