Com­mu­ni­ties tired of ne­glect in min­ing de­ci­sions

CityPress - - Business - MAMELLO MASOTE and THULETHO ZWANE mamello.masote@city­

Min­ing com­mu­ni­ties say they are frus­trated with be­ing side­lined by min­ing com­pa­nies and govern­ment when it comes to de­ci­sions that af­fect them.

At the min­ing lek­gotla in Midrand, Joburg, on Wed­nes­day, Min­ing Af­fected Com­mu­ni­ties United in Ac­tion (Macua) held a march and handed over a me­moran­dum of de­mands to Vusi Mabena of the Cham­ber of Mines.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers from min­ing com­mu­ni­ties held signs that read: “You profit from our suf­fer­ing”, “Noth­ing about us, with­out us” and “Scrap the Min­er­als Act”.

The me­moran­dum said: “Com­mu­ni­ties have been sys­tem­at­i­cally ex­cluded from the adop­tion of the Min­ing Char­ter, the devel­op­ment of pol­icy and devel­op­ment and pass­ing of leg­is­la­tion, in which only the in­ter­ests of busi­ness, govern­ment and labour have been ad­dressed.”

A Macua leader, Me­shack Mban­gula, said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was formed in 2012 by com­mu­ni­ties who were tired of bear­ing the ef­fects of min­ing, par­tic­u­larly on health.

“When min­ing li­cences are be­ing is­sued, the com­mu­ni­ties are not prop­erly con­sulted,” he said.

He also said when mines closed down, the min­ing com­pa­nies did not re­ha­bil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ties.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the me­moran­dum, Mabena said he would or­gan­ise a meet­ing with Macua. He said Macua was in­vited to the lek­gotla, but had re­fused the in­vi­ta­tion. Mban­gula said it re­fused be­cause it was only of­fered 10 min­utes to make a pre­sen­ta­tion.

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