Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ordered to Close Parts of South Shaft

South Africa’s Royal Bafokeng Platinum Ltd. was ordered Thursday by mining inspectors to suspend part of one of its operations.

“We have received a Section 54 notice for parts of the South shaft, after five inspectors visited the mine,” said Mpueleng Mpooe, a spokesman for Royal Bafokeng. He said he couldn’t immediately comment on the reasons for the notice. Section 54 notices enable inspectors to close all or part of a mine if they have reason to believe it may endanger workers’ safety.

Ayanda Shezi, a spokeswoman for the Department of Mineral Resources, and its media desk, didn’t return emails or answer a call seeking comment.

Bloomberg reported earlier Thursday that the Johannesburg-based miner informed Aforika Borwa Mining Solutions, a company linked to the politically connected Gupta family, that it won’t renew its contract that expires at the end of the year.

Read more: Royal Bafokeng Is Said to End Contract With Gupta-Linked Firm

The Gupta family, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma and have been in business with one of his sons, have been accused by politicians and civil society groups of using that relationship to influence state contracts and cabinet appointments. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

Gary Naidoo, a spokesman for the Gupta family, didn’t answer several calls to his mobile phone.

RBP decided not to renew the contract with ABMS “for commercial reasons and the contract was coming to an end,” Mpooe said.

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