Hope as Cacadu coal mine could reopen

There is hope that the coal mine in Guba, Cacadu in the Emalahleni Local Municipality may be reopened after being closed for more than five years.

This mine was last operational when there was a company called Elitheni Coal Mine which had problems continuing to produce this coal.

The possible opening of this mine came from a meeting between the Mayor of Emalahleni Local Municipality, Nontombazana Koni, and entrepreneurs last week.

Koni felt compelled to inform the entrepreneurs of Emalahleni about the continuation of the mine after questions about the progress of the mine.

“Although I did not intend to talk about this, but since it has come up, let me inform you that I am being told that something is going on regarding the opening of the mine,” said Koni.

At a breakfast meeting with entrepreneurs, Koni, accompanied by the senior management team of Emalahleni, answered a barrage of questions while giving information to the entrepreneurs.

“There is a meeting to be held with the Chiefs, us as the municipality and the general public, and a new company will be introduced to open this coal mine in Guba,” said Koni with hope.

Due to the residents’ illegal mining of coal, this mine is not in a good condition caused by illegal entry. Livestock farmers have also lost their livestock due to the pollution of water by the coal in the Guba rivers.

The Elitheni Coal Mine Company started mining in Guba in 2014. After a short period since it took over, it had problems that caused it to stop.

The Director of Integrated Planning and Economic Development in Emalahleni, Nkululo Mntuyedwa, told the entrepreneurs about their efforts to open the mine.

“The problem is we do not want to say what we do not know. Whether it will happen or not, we believe that until we are sure that the mine will be open, we have made many efforts to try to ensure that there will be work done in this mine,” said Mntuyedwa.

The Guba coal mine is the only existing mine in the Eastern Cape, and it was discovered in 1838 in an effort to obtain electricity.

This coal was first mined in 1870 in the town of Molteno after discussions that delayed its production.

The Eastern Cape is third in terms of coal production in South Africa. In first place is KwaZulu-Natal followed by Mpumalanga.

Last year the National Assembly in Cape Town discussed and agreed that the restoration of this mine could be a solution to the problems of power outages in South Africa.

According to a report from the minerals council in South Africa, there is an average of 530 million tons of coal underground in Guba, Indwe and Molteno.

This report revealed that it is an estimated amount of R122 billion that can be gained by South Africa from the production of this coal.

The opening of this mine can change the financial situation of Emalahleni and its towns as there is a high rate of unemployment.

Most of the youth in Emalahleni depend on government grants, the lucky few work in supermarkets in towns including Indwe, Cacadu and Dordretch.

People with higher education leave this municipality every year to look for better jobs in other places. Anglo Gold Company confirms that there are many miners from Emalahleni. Due to the layoffs in the mines, there are many who can work in this mine using their experience gained in the mines in Gauteng.