Destitute miners in Kroondal are so hungry that they have resorted to eating cats, rats and wild vegetables to survive.
This has prompted urgent intervention by Gift of the Givers which will make food donations on Thursday.
Imtiaz Sooliman, founder, director and chair of Gift of the Givers, said in a statement the organisation was contacted by the Legal Resource Centre, which asked it to intervene.
Sooliman said the LRC informed the organisation that the problem dated back to 2009 when 3 291 miners contracted to Murray & Roberts Cementation participated in an unprotected strike at Aquarius Platinum mine.
Following legal action 1 000 miners were dismissed, while others were arrested and charged with public violence.
According to the statement there are now 203 miners living in a hostel – 145 from Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique and 58 from South Africa.
The situation is reportedly so dire that the miners are starving and many are suffering from diseases.
The LRC told Gift of the Givers that 158 miners had died since the strike, said Sooliman.
“We request the intervention of the relevant authorities to bring to closure this unacceptable human suffering. Foreign nationals should be assisted with documentation and repatriated to be united with their families,” said Sooliman.
“A compassionate, amicable solution should be finalised; six years is too long. Within the next few weeks we hope this suffering will be over.” News24