Irish Kenmare sends S. African miners in Mozambique home over xenophobia
Irish miner Kenmare Resources (LON:KMR) said Monday it has sent 62 South Africans working at its titanium mine in Mozambique back home as a precautionary measure, after violent anti-immigrant attacks that started in January, when six people were killed around Johannesburg.
The decision follows a similar move by South Africa-based Sasol, which repatriated Friday 340 of its employees working on projects in the Southeast Africa nation for their own safety.
Kenmare said operations at its Moma mine, located on the north east coast of Mozambique, are expected to continue without significant disruption, but only if the situation is resolved “in the near future.”
At least seven people have been killed so far in the wave of anti-foreigner attacks, considered the worst violence South Africa has seen in seven years. With the unemployment rate at 24%, many accuse foreign nationals — many from neighbouring countries— of taking jobs from locals.
The latest outbreaks began this month in Durban, a key port on South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast and spread to the capital city last week.
South African police have already arrested more than 300 people for a range of xenophobic-related crimes, BBC News reported. Meanwhile thousands of foreigners have fled their homes and sheltered in makeshift camps.