MACUA & WAMUA to lead hundreds of community members to hand over submissions calling for the MPRDA to be scrapped and for the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to be included in new legislation.
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng, 30 January 2020 – Communities affected by mining operations, united under the banner of MACUA & WAMUA, together with a coalition of mining-affected communities, community networks, trade unions, and civil society networks, will march to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on Friday 31st January 2020 to hand over their written submissions in response to the DRAFT AMENDMENTS TO THE MINERAL AND PETROLEUM RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS of 2019 which was released late in December 2019 for public comment.
Meshack Mbangula, the National Organiser of MACUA said “It was a great concern to us that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (the DMRE) released two draft laws with important implications for the rights of communities, shortly before the December holidays. This kind of ambush consultation sits at the heart of our demands for broad-based consultation to be embedded in legislation, so that we can end the marginalisation and exploitation of communities”.
While we acknowledge that the Department extended the comments period until January 31 2020, we believe that any law and policy with such a profound impact on the self-determination of communities must be preceded by thorough engagement with the most affected communities and their partners in civil society.
In this regard we wish to remind the DMRE of the court order obtained by communities in the matter of The Chamber of Mines of South and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources which recognised communities and the networks MACUA, WAMUA and MEJCON-SA as stakeholders who needed to be consulted in the formulation of the Mining Charter.
Both the amended regulations and guidelines represent a disregard for communities since neither recognises the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), despite two successive court victories won by communities (Maledu and Others v Itereleng Bakgatla Mineral Resources (Pty) Limited and Another and Baleni and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources and Others).
We will therefore submit our comments in person and to demand a new framework for mining law based on community agency and the right to free prior and informed consent.
Our collective demands to the DMRE are:
- Develop a new legal framework with mining-affected communities and workers that is premised on community and worker agency in determining their own developmental paths and on the basis of free prior and informed consent;
- Launch a broad-based public participation process for the draft laws released at the end of 2019 characterised by adequate notice of no less than 3 weeks before meetings, public meetings in all mining regions, stakeholder meetings with community networks, civil society organisations and trade unions; and
- Pass No laws or policies which allows resettlement without the consent of each person to be resettled.
Nester Ndebele, National Convenor of WAMUA reiterated the movement’s determination to campaign for these demands. “We are prepared to pursue all avenues at our disposal for realising our demands for Free Prior and Informed Consent, and meaningful community and worker participation in all laws and policy making, and an end to forced removals to make way for mining” she said.
For further information please contact:
Meshack Mbangula – National Coordinator of MACUA: 0749775588
Nester Ndebele – National Convenor of WAMUA: 083 269 5705
Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) is a National organisation with over 20 branches across South Africa aimed at advancing the rights and interests of mining affected communities. The organisation has over 1000 signed up members who are committed to ensuring that communities are granted a greater say in issues that affect their human rights, agency and dignity.
Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) is an official national platform formed within MACUA with the purpose of advancing the rights and interests of women in mining affected communities. WAMUA aims to advance and support women in mining affected communities to strengthen their participation in community decision making processes and influencing local, provincial and national policy and legislative process in the mining sector.
ABOUT THE COALTION:
The coalition of mining-affected communities, community networks, trade unions, and civil society networks, include:
- Mining-Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA)
- Women from Mining Affected Communities United in Action (WAMUA)
- Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA)
- South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU)
- Bench Marks Foundation (BMF)
- ActionAid South Africa (AASA)
- Centre for Environmental Rights (CER)
- Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
- Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS)
- Legal Resources Centre (LRC)