Date: 15 October 2020
To: All Media Editors, Journalists and News Outlets
RE: Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
We have noted the President`s speech this afternoon which called for the acceleration of approving mining and water use licence applications. In other words, to speed up the super exploitation of the environment and the acceleration of inequality. This is a recipe for social and environmental disaster in our opinion and indicates that the President and the ANC have learnt nothing from the deep inequality that has driven social unrest in the country. This plan to devastate the environment and condemn communities to poverty ignores the many organisations and communities who have called for a greater equality of outcomes in the sector and society.
The disconnect between the lived reality of mining affected communities and the President`s promises have left us deeply disappointed. The President promises an inclusive, transformative, green and sustainable economic plan, yet the plan intends intensifying and speeding up the existing economically exclusive, untransformed, unsustainable and toxic mining industry without regard to the deeply systemic inequality generated by the sector. Our lived experience as well as numerous research reports confirm that Mining does not create jobs for the many, instead it produces wealth for the few.
The President promises an inclusive, transformative, green, and sustainable economic plan- yet the scheme absurdly outlines and details the intensification and stimulation of activities within the mining sector. A sector that is economically exclusive, untransformed, unsustainable, and toxic. This outrageous plan was conceived without any real regard for the deep systemic inequality that is produced by mining.
The President waxed lyrical about the extensive consultations which preceded this plan, yet no consultations were held with mining affected communities even though we have reached out to him on a number of occasions. It is clear from the Plan, that the President is only willing to listen to Big Business and that mining affected communities do not matter in his calculations. By so doing he continues the legacy of colonial apartheid and condemns us to poverty and exclusion
The distance between the wealthy politicians and the poor continues to grow and we reiterate our numerous warnings that the social distance which allows the inequality to grow and fester in the mining sector will only deepen inequality and drive social unrest.
We call on the President to urgently engage mining affected communities to develop a new social compact that will develop new regulations for the sector that ensures greater community inclusion and benefit.
For further information please contact:
Meshack Mbangula – National Coordinator of MACUA: 0749775588
Fransina Nkosi –Acting National Convenor of WAMUA: 072 877 9972
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.