By Sifiso Nhlabatsi | 2020-06-30
THE Government of Eswatini has signed bilateral agreements with South Africa, which will see 626 Emaswati employed in the South African mines going back to their respective jobs.
This was disclosed by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Thulani Mkhaliphi yesterday.
The country has about 2 900 mineworkers, but the above are those who chose to comeback when South Africa went into total lockdown.
The PS was responding to questions on what will happen to mineworkers trapped in the country following South Africa’s decision to close some of its ports of entry.
The principal secretary said Eswatini signed bilateral agreements with South Africa. He said these agreements included Mozambique, Lesotho and Botswana, which are some of the countries which have some of its people working in the South African mines.
Mkhaliphi revealed that this exercise will see Mozambicans being the first to go to South Africa, followed by other countries then Eswatini on the week of 16 July.
Mkhaliphi said Eswatini has about 626 people working in the mines, who will be transported back to South Africa.
The principal secretary said due to the large numbers, this is not going to be a process which will take one day but will take some days.
The PS said government has engaged TEBA, which is a company looking over issues of mineworkers employed in South Africa and will contact these miners for travelling arrangements.
Mkhaliphi warned that only an officer from TEBA will be responsible for this movement.
He warned that any other person who will come and claim that he or she is representing TEBA or has means of transporting the mineworkers at a certain fee will not be acting on behalf of TEBA. The principal secretary said there will be a designated official for that job. Worth noting is that some mineworkers have long resorted to make illegal crossings to South Africa following the opening of mines in South Africa a month back.
Most of those who resorted to going back used informal crossings.
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