Community blasts mining operation
Mkhuphulangwenya residents protesting at the main entrance of Larfarge on Monday morning regarding blasting operations which are reportedly damaging their property.
TRAFFIC came to a virtual standstill in Ncekwane Reserve, near Ndlangubo on Monday when residents of the Mkhuphulangwenya area staged a protest march at Lafarge.
They blocked the company entrance with burning logs, tree branches and rocks demanding the company stop demolishing their forefathers’ graves without following proper procedure.
One resident, Celani Shwabede said four of his five family graves were damaged during blasting procedures and no one was taking responsibility.
‘I don’t know what happened to the remains of my parents and grandparents, I still need answers,’ said Shwabede.
Leading the march, community leader Khulekani Cebekhulu also said they demand the company terminate all its contracts with employees who were not from the area and start recruiting local residents.
‘They have even hired foreign nationals to do labour work, which can be done by us.
‘They have refused to provide employment for us. We are not even getting tenders, and when they do blasting, our homesteads are badly affected.
Cebekhulu said they invited the company’s management several times to discuss the community’s concerns, but they refused,’ he said.
He vowed that they will prolong their protest march until their demands are met. We will ensure that no business operation takes place,’ he said.
Larfarge Area Manager, Gert van Vuuren, referred all questions to the head of Mzimela Traditional Authority iNkosi Thanda Mzimela, saying they were taking orders from the traditional authority.
When contacted, iNkosi Mzimela expressed shock about the conduct of the protesters, saying he had invited them to meet with him last week, but they did not show up.
‘This is not the first protest, which is why I invited them to come and raise their dissatisfaction with me, so I can address their grievances. I’m still waiting for them,’ he said.
The roads were blocked with burning tyres as disgruntled residents of Mkhuphulangwenya staged a protest march