Com­mu­nity blasts min­ing op­er­a­tion

Eyethu Baywatch - - FRONT PAGE - Muzi Zin­c­ume

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.

Muzi Zin­c­ume

Muzi Zin­c­ume

The roads were blocked with burn­ing tyres as dis­grun­tled res­i­dents of Mkhu­phu­lang­wenya staged a protest march

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