Anglo Platinum is controlled by London-based Anglo American plc.
Jubilee South Africa and IANRA South Africa Press Statement, 25 October 2010
Jubilee Mokopane will be marching with the support of IANRA South Africa to the Anglo Platinum PPL mine north west of the town of Mokopane in Limpopo province on Tuesday 26 October 2010 from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm.
The immediate reason for the march is in support of the Sekuruwe community and the court case it is currently pursuing against the mine for the destruction of the community’s land for a tailings dam for the waste from the mine’s operations.
Anglo Platinum fenced off the land the community has always used for ploughing and grazing, instantly preventing the villagers from accessing and using the land and severing their ability to sustain their livelihoods. In the process of destruction, the company has desecrated community graves on the land. It has been forced to apologise and to support the reconstruction of the skeletal remains, but many graves remain unaccounted for with numerous skeletal remains still believed to be on the land being destroyed. The destruction to date has already been extensive and people from the community are reporting that the mine appears to be starting to pour unknown substances onto the land.
The broader reasons for the march include the general destruction of land and the environment and contamination of water affecting numerous villages in the area. According to Phillipos Dolo, Jubilee Mokopane Coordinator, “This is an environmental injustice. We demand that Anglo Platinum stops the degradation and contamination of the environment and water with immediate effect and that it makes reparations for the damage it has caused.”
The march will also make a statement against the lack of progress in the task team established by the Ministry of Mineral Resources after it called for the disestablishment of the much detested Section 21 companies established by Anglo Platinum in communities affected by its operations. Instead of honouring its commitment to the task team, the company is continuing to make deals with the current illegitimate leadership of the Mapela Tribal Authority and the Section 21 companies. It is also continuing to make selective offers of employment to manipulate community leaders while failing to provide any significant jobs for the affected communities.
The march is being supported by the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa – South Africa (Ianra South Africa), a network including communities affected by mining as well as NGOs supporting these communities. The network was formally established earlier this year and is organising exchange visits between communities and people affected by mining. Currently, communities affected by Anglo Platinum and other companies engaged in platinum mining in both the Greater Rustenburg area and the eastern limb of the platinum belt in Limpopo are in Mokopane to lend their support to the march.
These include communities in Greater Rustenburg which have faced long-standing damage by Anglo Platinum to their land, environment and livelihoods and are also facing further expansion of mining activities. They are demanding sustainable development, reparations and benefits from the existing mining operations as well as a halt to expansion without consultation.
The community of Magobading in the eastern limb is also present. They have long-standing grievances in relation to their removal from areas in which Anglo Platinum has established mining operations to the rural township of Magobading created for that purpose, with lack of access to land and water and inadequate services and far from any potential places of employment.
George Dor
Jubilee South Africa General Secretary and IANRA SA working committee
For further information, contact:
Phillipos Dolo, Jubilee Mokopane coordinator, 073 789 2489
Joseph Magobe, Rustenburg, IANRA SA working committee, 083 960 5818