Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) and Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) has called for a National Day of Action to Demand the Right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to be included in legislation governing the Mining Sector.
The call for the Minerals Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) to be amended to include FPIC principles to protect communities, comes after the Pretoria North High Court set aside governments Mining Charter as an instrument that can be used to hold mining companies to account for their lack of transformation in the sector.
The 22nd of October this year, will also mark the first anniversary of the brutal and cowardly assassination of Fikile Ntshangase in her home at Ophondweni, near Mtubatuba in Kwazulu Natal. The mine that she opposed and which ultimately cost her life, continues to mine and continues to foster divisions in the community which creates a climate of fear, in a reality in which the killers of Fikile Ntshangase have not been brought to book.
In December 2020 MACUA and WAMUA submitted 50 000 signatures to the Speaker of the National Assembly and called on her to ensure that the conditions which led to the death of Fikile Ntshangagse is investigated and that Parliament ensures that steps are taken to bring the perpetrators to book and that the legislation that denies communities the rights to Free Prior and Informed Consent be reconsidered.
Despite the Speaker committing to taking the matter forward through the Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, the Portfolio Committee has failed in taking the matter seriously and they continue to evade their responsibility to protect the interests of communities and to create a safe environment for HRD’s.
Nine Months later, despite commitments by the Minster and the National Assembly that they would take our calls seriously, they have yet to engage us in any serious way.
Communities from across South Africa will converge on various locations to voice their anger and determination to ensure that the mining sector is transformed from a source of looting for the elite to a vehicle for the empowerment of communities.
Among the venues where protests will be held on the 22 October are:
- March and Memorial service in Somkele KZN
- The DMRE Offices in Pretoria
- DMRE Offices in Welkom
- DMRE Offices in Klerksdorp
- Mogalakwena Mine in Mokopane Limpopo.
- Tshikondeni Mine Limpopo
- Musina Police Station in Musina
- Mudimele Police Station in Limpopo
- Mecklenburg Police Station in Sekhukune
- Phalaborwa Police Station in Phalaborwa
- Sheshego Police Station in Polokwane
- Siyandabakgatla Mine North West
- South 32 Mine in Mpumalanga
Further details of venues and times will be released in the next week.