Date: 27 July 2020
To: All Media Editors, Journalists and News Outlets
RE: MACUA & WAMUA express their disgust at the unacceptable levels of unequal wealth distribution evident in AMPLATS half Year results.
Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) and Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) have taken note of the Half Year results released by Amplats this morning and have expressed their disgust that the deeply unequal distribution of wealth is celebrated by the media and allowed to continue by government.
Anglopats glibly reported half year profits of R13.1 Billion profit, of which R2.8 billion are paid to shareholders as dividends while also reporting that they had spent R55 Million rand in communities.
The community “investment” portion amounts to a mere 0,4% of the profits reported and even though Amplats have claimed that these funds are “invested” in communities, our own research has shown that claims by mining companies of community investments are exorbitantly over inflated. Our research indicates that more than 75% of claimed investments in communities remain unaccounted for. In other words, what mining companies report about community investments are often only on paper.
The fact of the matter remains that communities around mines are increasingly impoverished and affected by pollution, cracked houses from blasting, loss of access to water and land etc, while mining executives and investors are walking away with billions of what should be our shared heritage.
MACUA and WAMUA are compelled, by this celebration of conspicuous inequality which is passed over in the media as if this is natural and normal, to once again call out these extreme levels of greed and inequality that underpin the mining sector.
Everyday mines are reaping what should be our shared wealth and exporting our wealth while communities around mines face starvation, pollution and viral threats that are brought to their doors by mining companies.
This inequality cannot be sustained indefinitely, and mining communities are growing increasingly angry at a system of law and business that legitimises and legalises the high levels of inequality in the sector.
We call on the President and government to urgently convene a summit with community organisations in the sector to live up to the Presidents promise of rebuilding the economy so that all our people can benefit, not just a few shareholders, mine managers, bureaucrats and politically connected individuals.
As mining affected communities we will not be silent while our country is being looted through legal means and failure to address this diabolical and unequal system will almost certainly come back to haunt us as a country and we call on the President to Be Bold and Act Now.
We demand that the Law be changed to ensure justice for communities through the introduction of Free Prior and Informed Consent.
We say Nothing About Us Without Us