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Eskom said on Thursday that it had stopped paying Optimum Coal Mine at the beginning of February, as the mine had failed to supply the agreed amount of coal to Eskom’s Hendrina Power Station. The power utility disclosed this as workers at Optimum Coal Mine in Middelburg continued their strike for the second day over uncertainty about the future of the Gupta-owned mine. Commercial banks have cut ties with Gupta-owned companies, citing reputational risk, while the only bank that serves the companies — Bank of Baroda —will exit SA at the end of March. The workers at Optimum wanted assurances from their employer that they would be paid on Friday, as the company was experiencing financial problems. Optimum CEO George van der Merwe could not assure the employees that they would be paid on Friday and said that Eskom was sabotaging its operations by not paying Optimum. However‚ Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said Optimum last supplied the power utility with coal on February 17, and the mine ...

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