Date: 07 July 2020
To: All Media Editors, Journalists and News Outlets
RE: MACUA & WAMUA Calls on Minister Mantashe to Walk the Talk.
Mining Affected Communities United in Action ( MACUA) and Women Affected by Mining United in Action(WAMUA) have welcomed the latest statement issued by Minister Mantashe in which he affirmed that mining affected communities (along with other stakeholders) should be “involved in decisions that affect them…at all material times”.
Meshack Mbangula, the National Coordinator of MACUA highlighted communities’ sense of discomfort with what the Minister`s statement was saying and what communities have experienced in reality when he said; “now, if only the Minister would do as he says then we can really advance transformation in the sector and society”, he said.
We find it ironic that the Minister has gone to court to argue that we should be included in what the court called “all material times”, when in the same submission to the court the Minister admits that despite communities winning a victory in court in February 2018 which compelled the Minister to consult with communities, the Minister still felt that communities were of so little worth that the minister deemed it appropriate to exclude us from the Mining Transformation Team (MTT) which drafted the 2018 Mining Charter.
Either the Minister is speaking with a forked tongue on the principle of our inclusion or he is genuinely committed to the principle of our inclusion at all material times when issues that affect us are being decided.
Although we find it hard to believe that the Minister is genuine in his commitment to the fundamental principle of democracy, as most recently we had to approach the courts once again to force the Department of Mineral Resources to consult with us, we nonetheless wish to offer the Minister the benefit of the doubt and invite the Minister to meet with us in order that we may agree on a path to ensure that the MPRDA recognises and entrenches this right in law.
As communities who carry the burden of mining’s pollution, environmental degradation and social decay, we can no longer accept platitudes of inclusion and concern, and we would suggest to the Minister that it is high time, given that the courts have affirmed this right numerous times, and given that the Minister now agrees that our inclusion is no longer negotiable, that the MPRDA be changed to ensure that our democracy thrives and that transformation is achieved.
At a time when our country is faced with a deadly pandemic that has not only threatened the physical health of our society, but its consequences will almost certainly threaten the fabric of our society, we believe that there is no better time than now, for all sectors of society to band together in united determination to achieve the goals our ancestors set out to achieve of a united, non-racial, democratic ,and prosperous society.
AS the courts have affirmed, the time is not now to retreat into lagers of self-interest, but instead the time is now for us to be bold and to open the levers of decision making to community interests so that we may overcome the legacy of inequality that still haunts our society today.
We look forward to hearing from the Minister.
Nothing About Us Without Us
For further information please contact:
Meshack Mbangula – National Coordinator of MACUA: 0749775588
Ekhurululeni: Sabelo Mnguni: 083 563 8985
Sedibeng: Mam Lettie Motshoeni: 0671769217
Khutsong: Ngaka Pitlele: 073 166 0641
Klerksdorp: Mahadio Mohape: 078 032 3600
Margret Village: Paps Lethoka: 076 028 0187
Sekhukune: Gilbert Moela: 079 777 6175
Mokopane: Mokete Khoda: 063 036 4925
Lephalale: Fransina Nkosi: 072 877 9972
Carolina: Nomonde Nkosi: 072 391 2432
Phola: Millicent Shungube: 076 258 7095
Ermelo: Zethu Hlatshwayo: 082 930 9312
Kriel: Nimrod Gaskin: 076 013 2909
Fuleneni: Billy Mngondo: 060 630 5138
Newcastle: Lucky Shabalala: 074 773 3817
Kathu: Boitumelo Tshetlho: 079 693 9207
Kuruman: Matlhohonolo Mochare: 082 945 3591
Bronville: Randall Oosthuizen: 060 318 9409
Kutlwanong: Aubrey Tsoeute: 0681729431
Welkom: Mpai Nkali: 082 535 9543
Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) is a National Movement representing and advancing the rights and interests of mine-affected communities across eight provinces of South Africa. The network is made up of branches across the country and advocates for communities to be granted a greater say in issues that affect their human rights and which they believe is denied to them in current regulations governing the mining sector.
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.