Cash-strapped miners approach lenders

2012-09-04 14:26

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 mining town.

At Tshelete Cash Loan, a Lonmin employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, said on Tuesday that his monthly salary amounted to R7 800 before deductions.

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, he said.

"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 luck.

"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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  • david.stevenson.77964 - 2012-09-04 14:56

    Perhaps Julius can lend them some money? Ignorance is not an excuse, but we have to feel for these poor people. there must be a way to help.

      JohhnyBGood - 2012-09-04 15:08

      This is about the only sensible comment I have seen in a long time. Yeah, these poor people are being used by the union. These guys have been talked (lied ) to by the scum of the earth. I actually do feel sorry for the guys that want to work and support the families.

      gavin.bell.773 - 2012-09-04 15:11

      I agree with you! Julius is the one saying that they should continue to strike, he should be the one lending them money..

      merven.halo - 2012-09-04 15:15

      'but we have to feel for these poor people.' Why? They were warned from the start, no work, no pay.

  • kelvin.rams - 2012-09-04 15:00

    Eix hard tym

  • andre.symes.5 - 2012-09-04 15:01

    There is always the option to go to work if you need money.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-04 15:02

    This has been a very costly strike in more ways than 1.I just wonder if these strikers really believe they are achieving anything?

  • steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-09-04 15:02

    And what does anyone who strikes expect?????

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-04 15:03

    This is not freedom if others prevent you from going to work, no wonder Tutu is crying. People need to be educated about a democracy.

  • collen.vinjwa - 2012-09-04 15:09

    Y z Malema not borrowing em or beta yet help em out? Ddnt he tell em nt 2 go 2 work?

  • nadineelvina.francis - 2012-09-04 15:14

    Surely the unions should now step in to help these families. Its the unions responsiblity to feed their members now after all the unions called for the strike.

  • firstseed.mbeva - 2012-09-04 15:14

    The sangoma will pay on their behalf

  • ludlowdj - 2012-09-04 15:20

    The reality of life, the worker has no say and no power, big business just sits them out and forces them to accept whatever it decrees

      Erna - 2012-09-04 15:36

      Unfortunately that is the way of the world! I also think I deserve much more for the work I do, but I don't stop working!

      Vanman1979 - 2012-09-04 15:41

      Ludlowdj - They have the option of working and negotiating at the same time. No one but themselvfes are forcing them to strike. I work for my money and when i feel my increase or pay is not enough i will have a sit down with my boss and discuss it like a grown up. I don't go on strike and kill people and stop others from working.

      Alfjoe - 2012-09-04 15:42

      The worker has no say in terms of what, they decided their own future by nt going to work of whch the strike waz illegal, why didnt they follow the write channels for the strike to be legal? Am sure they wouldnt be borrowing money by nw.

      johandebeer - 2012-09-05 17:57

      Do you not think that the mine is also severely set back financially by this strike?

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-04 15:21

    So why don't they ask Malema for money or the unions that said they must strike. Pretty sure those union bosses aren't having any cash problem.

      rodney.overes - 2012-09-04 16:18

      AND WHAT HAPPENS next month when they do get paid after going back to work,,, the UNIONS want the previous months contributions as-well. Even if they did not get pay the previous month..... the Union feel nothing for the worker as long as it gets its money.

  • mantothieve.missingman - 2012-09-04 15:24

    So where is juliass now ? I sorry I forgot he doesnt have any money either its been a while since he got a tender ! Go ask you union bosses who said you must strike to borrow you money they have plenty !

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-09-04 15:25

    Go ask the sangoma to make money grow on your back.

  • marc.rule - 2012-09-04 15:26


  • sonia.bloem - 2012-09-04 15:26

    I do feel bad for those who want to work but can't because their lives would be in danger.

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-09-04 15:33

    just goes to show you how much these big talkers like Malema actually care!! Keep on striking for your hero Malema but don't complain when you end up with no job, no money and no home!

  • Erna - 2012-09-04 15:34

    Just getting themselves deeper into the dwang! Can't figure out that it is better to work for some money, than to have NO money.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-09-04 15:35

    No pain no gain and in this case lots of pain and no gain.

  • neil.harris.370177 - 2012-09-04 15:38

    I'm afraid the only way this situation will be resolved is if one mine takes one for the team. Either close down Marikana or Lonmin should take its equipment and give the miners the mine, lets say how long the 40 000 miners will make R12K a month or they will eat. Hey, I believe I am worth three times what I make but I come to work every damn day, because the principles of an open market is YOU ARE ONLY WORTH WHAT SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY YOU!!! And yes, I am not white!!! So there are also some of us of colour who see the clear problem with this situation!

  • rohin.jadin - 2012-09-04 15:44

    the unfortunate thing about this is they'll end up paying R5k in interest on the loan, so even if they get the increases they're striking for, it's going to end up paying off the loan shark. How does one get through to the masses who don't know any better and can only hope that politicians will do as they claim to. i wish someone who had the clout would have the balls to stand up and address the miners, explain to them that by making such large demands on the company, not only are they jeopardizing their jobs now but they're risking their jobs in the long term in the companies are forced to retrench. They need to stop believing that mining can go on forever, stop believing that the companies can keep on paying out, they need to understand that yes, the company makes a lot of money, but the company also has overheads and risks, and if all our mines close down, we all suffer. And if only Malema would realise that he's destroying the very thing he wants nationalized. If he had his way, the mines would be bankrupt and closed within 3 - 5 years and our unemployment rates would be closer to 80% -what then? Malema would lock himself up in his mansion with the underground bunker and say it's the white mans fault. Sad that we might just need a period of anarchy and civil war to right this country.

  • riad.mahomed - 2012-09-04 15:46

    Prevention is better than cue, Every action as an equal and opposite reaction, Half a loaf is better than none,.……..not sure if these guys are familiar with these saying since they are all individual with individual needs therefore the next time they decide to act as part of the collective, this should be the lessons that spring to mind cause he who walks, walk alone……..

  • Alfjoe - 2012-09-04 15:47

    We cry about democracy and lawlesness yet some people deny others the right to work? If yu dont want to work, stay at your home and let those who want to feed their families go to work.

  • mirrorman.smith - 2012-09-04 15:55

    Don't complain about not having money when you willingly down tools. By going to loan outlets, you only digging yourself in a deeper hole...

  • faizal.m.essop - 2012-09-04 16:32

    the union should pay their wages

      pisciotta - 2012-09-05 10:36

      That is what Unions in civilized nations do. But once again SA tries its hand at being "civilized" and fails miserably - by the hands of the ignorant majority.

  • christina.setloboko - 2012-09-04 16:32


  • phillipa.mill - 2012-09-04 16:33

    No sympathy what so ever...You don't work you don't get paid simple as that

  • neil.harris.370177 - 2012-09-04 16:42

    This however breaks my heart!!! "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." How dare these criminals stop an honest man from making a living, to the extent that going to work is risking his life to feed his family. The charges should never have been dropped but should also have extended to union leaders and Malema....... who would have thought malema, after calling people an agent, you would be the agent...... A bloody incendiary agent!

      johandebeer - 2012-09-05 18:02

      It would be interesting to know whether he also cheered when malema spat his poison.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-04 19:05

    Lonmin must pay the workers demands, they deserve more than what they asking for, Lonmin is stalling, something they could have done from the start instead of getting involved with a massacre. If I were the workers I would go back to work, wait, and be patient.... then slow down, to a reasonable R4500.00 work rate.

      neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-09-04 20:56

      And then what? In case you missed it, Lonmin has very little room to maneuver and very few choices. There is a very real possibility that the mine will close - then 40 000 people will get everything of nothing. Ja, that makes sense

  • ruan.lacock - 2012-09-04 21:15

    ....let them starve....bloody eejits....

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-04 21:49

    just a notion but is this where the unions are meant to step in and PAY OUT from the HUGE RESERVES that they have accrued these past 4-60 years BY NEVER ASSISTING THEIR MEMBERS FINANCIALLY as they are obliged to!!! You paid membership to the unions. The Unions must now pay you for ALL the time you are not working - NOT the mine

  • tommo.too - 2012-09-04 23:51

    Eish. No R12 500 increase in salary. Reality hits the victims of Malema hard

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