MACUA to mobilise thousands of members to call for Community Consent in Mining Legislation
MACUA, WAMUA and NAAM have announced plans mobilise thousands of community members to make 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, 10 February 2020 – Communities affected by mining operations, united under the banner of MACUA & WAMUA, and artisanal miners under the banner of NAAM, will roll out various actions over the next 2 weeks to coincide with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy`s (DMRE`s) furtive attempts at consultation on the DRAFT AMENDMENTS TO THE MINERAL AND PETROLEUM RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS of 2019 which was released late in December 2019 for public comment.
Not only were the Draft regulations released late in December when broad consultation could not take place, but it now has also proceeded with furtive and almost clandestine efforts to conduct sham consultations in selected communities across South Africa. The hasty consultations which are far removed from affected communities and where it appears as if attempts will be made to bus in “Rent a Crowds” to support the Draft, came to the attention of MACUA on Thursday 05 March 2020, via an unofficial internal source.
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 and now hold consultations without adequate notice or accessible venues. 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”.
MACUA, WAMUA and NAAM have consistently held 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.
Both the amended regulations and guidelines represent a disregard for communities since neither recognises the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), despite successive court victories won by communities (Maledu and Others v Itereleng Bakgatla Mineral Resources (Pty) Limited and Another, Baleni and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources and Others as well as the Xolobeni judgement).
While the DMRE has publicly argued that a community consent requirement will end mining in South Africa and will undermine the custodianship of the state, MACUA has noted that the current mining legislative framework, which was adopted without broad-based community involvement, only benefits shareholders, the state and to some extent organised labour.
Custodianship does not grant absolute rights to the state, which must exercise its powers to the benefit of all South Africans. In the case of mining and the MPRDA, it is abundantly clear that this is not the case.
Consent for communities is simply not a radical proposition. Instead it becomes an imperative if the intention is to overcome the injustices of the past and to ensure that all South Africans benefit equally and where the burden of carrying these activities are recognised and accounted for.
Most mining companies operating in South Africa already comply with consent requirements for indigenous people in Latin America and thus the argument that this will scare investors is a Red Herring at best and a blatant lie at worse.
The practical outcomes of mining in South Africa has left communities poorer and our own research suggests that communities benefit as little as 0.2% of value created in the mining sector while they carry all the negative burdens of mining.
The state remains a significant beneficiary of the current mining regime as it is currently configured according to the PWC report series from 2009 to June 2018, which suggests that the state has received R160 billion in direct tax revenues during this period. An additional amount of approximately R45 billion is estimated to be paid to government as Royalties. In all, the PWC reports estimate that government takes approximately 24% of value reported among the listed JSE mining corporates, employees 47% of value reported and shareholders, 29% of value reported. Community “investments” by contrast has only amounted to 0.9% over the same period.
However as our research shown, none of the value from these community “investments” are experienced in the lived realities of affected communities. Up to 79% of community members we surveyed, those to whom these benefits are meant to accrue, have not participated in or benefited from the claimed investments. By our calculations, this implies that close to R5.92 billion of the estimated R7.5 billion earmarked for community development did not reach its intended beneficiaries.
A central reason for the poor outcomes in mining affected communities and for the intensive growth in inequality centres on community exclusion which is grounded in the legislation of the MPRDA. We demand a new framework for mining law based on community agency and the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
MACUA, WAMUA and NAAM will Picket and submit our demands to the following DMRE “consultation” events:
Newcastle Civic Centre 09h00 – 16H00 9TH March 2020
Mtubatuba Town Hall 09h00 – 16H00 13th March 2020
Kathu Town Hall 09h00 – 16h00 11th March 2020
Emalahleni City Hall 09h00 – 16h00 12th March 2020
Kriel Town Hall 09h00 – 16h00 13th March 2020
Rustenburg Town Hall 09h00 – 16h00 16th March 2020
Klerksdorp Town Hall 09h00 – 16h00 17th March 2020
Mogalakwena Town Hall 09h00 – 16h00 19th March 2020
Burgersfort Council Chambers 09h00 – 16h00 20th March 2020
On Friday 20 th of March 2020, MACUA, WAMUA and NAAM will also holds pickets outside
the Provincial offices of the DMRE in
Mineralia Building, Cnr De Korte and De Beer Street,
The Strip, 314 C/O Stateway & Bok Street, WELKOM.
For further information please contact:
Meshack Mbangula – National Coordinator of MACUA:
Nester Ndebele – National Convenor of WAMUA: 083 269 5705
Paps Lethoko – National Coordinator of NAAM: 076 028 0187
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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.