Women miners say they appreciate the progress their employers have made in defining their priorities in the mining sector.

Unlike their male counterparts, they say they have nothing to complain about. Siphakazi Mgchineni, who works as a cage assistant at Sibanye’s Stillwater K4 mine, says they want employers to focus on them and their needs as they face more responsibility as breadwinners.

Mgcineni says: “K4 is a new mine that has put women forward. I would like 60% of the workers at Sibansky Walls to be women. We have so many responsibilities, 90% of us (women) are single parents, we support children and are breadwinners.’

At the Marikana anniversary event, female miners talk about their role in the mines:

Another female miner, general production worker Nosifiva Shonga, says they are asking for better safety measures at the parking lots. She says that at the K3 mine, when the miners go down, they sometimes come back to find their cars stolen.

“The parking lot for officials has security guards guarding their cars, but the parking lot for regular workers is not guarded.”

She says she is calling on their employer to provide security and common parking for workers.

Unlike the countless men who work in the mines around Marikana, who complain about factors such as irregular tax deductions, security threats and unequal pay, the women say their working conditions are mostly favorable.

The women came to honor their fellow miners who were killed on August 12, 2012 in what was known as the Marikana massacre.

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