Our right to FREE PRIOR INFORMED CONSENT must be recognised in the law

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The mines, mineworkers and mining affected communities are intrinsically interlinked and what happens on a mine, affects the communities in negative ways. Mining affected communities have to pay for mining with their lives and their children`s futures, while we do not receive the benefits of mining. Between 2007 and 2018 the industry accumulated net profits of R221 Billion Rand. Mining affected communities saw less than 1.5 Billion of that over 10 years.
Now our lives are placed in more danger as mines open and bring death to our communities.

As confirmed by the Labour Court Judgement we obtained on the 1 May 2020, the Mine Health and Safety Act, places certain duties on the state and on mines to ensure the protection of mining affected communities and to meaningfully consult with communities on measures to prevent the spread of health risks such as Covid –19 Corona Virus.

But in line with our historical oppression, exclusion and exploitation the DMRE still refuses to include the voices of communities and to address the concerns of communities. By excluding communities, the DMRE is condemning our communities to face the danger of the pandemic without adequate protection and health facilities and support.

We demand that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, the Portfolio Committee of Mineral Resources and Energy and the President of South Africa, Immediately take steps to ensure that mining affected communities are represented on all Statutory and Regulatory bodies with immediate effect and that our right to FREE PRIOR and INFORMED CONSENT is recognised in the law.

This is the only way to ensure that our voices are heard, and our concerns addressed.