By David Lindobuhle Nene 
MACUA-WAMUA have been working with communities affected by mining across
the North West province of South Africa, and a recurring issue amongst affected
communities is that mining companies are failing to comply with Social Labour Plan
(SLP) commitments as required by the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act1(MPRDA). Mining companies have an obligation to the surrounding communities and to adhere to SLPs. Based on community engagements in Margaret village in Stillfontein, communities intimated that there exists a gap in consultations between Harmony Gold and the
community at large with reference to the developmental aspirations of community
members living in those communities. Instead of the mine pursuing the community, through consultations, and SLP interpretation, the community is the one that desperately seeks consultations and even fight through activism so that they can archive the community developments. SLPs must contain a number of measures to benefit communities and workers. They should also include basic services and infrastructure-type projects formulated in
consultation with communities. The AGA brewed chaos as the community took their
frustrations to the street to protest and high tensions continued until mid 2020, instead
of the mine to use the protest as an advantage to consult with the community, they
aggravate the masses by intimidating them, and threats of court interdicts.
Recently, Harmony has resorted to forcefully persuading community members of
Margaret village to relocate through the use of criminal elements within Khuma. Our
opinion is that the tactics being employed by Harmony in this instance are coercive, because offering an individual household a total sum of R40 000.00 in order to abandon the lives they have built for themselves for a period of over 30 years is exploitative and amounts to extortion. It would not be difficult in this case to argue
that Harmony might be trying to escape the responsibility of having to fulfil their
legally binding obligations to fulfill their SLP commitments as it regards the
community members living in Margaret Village. Obligations, of which they have
repeatedly flouted. Shockingly, individual community members have recently received threats and intimidation from a very well-known Gang referred to as “Vietnam”. The gang is
reported to have visited residents of Margaret village to coerce them into taking the
R40 000.00 offer of relocation. Why should the community live in fear when there all they are trying to do is exercise their rights to free speech and why can they not live lives that are free from
intimidation at the hands of thugs when they seek justice and development as per their
constitutional rights?
The overwhelming majority of the families living in Margaret Village have family
graves in the area and are considered to be historical sites for family and community
rituals. The community of Margaret Village is therefore made of the collection and
intertwined relationships between the living and the dead, hence the resistance of
these attempts at relocation – precisely because of the fact that such a relocation
would result in them leaving behind the graves of their ancestors. The community is still being excluded in the Harmony consultations. But we will
continue to support and assist affected communities in demanding and fighting for
Free Prior and Informed Consent, adherence to Social Labour Plans by corporate entities, Rehabilitation and other legal obligations meant to protect the land and the

right to self-determine their livelihood through artisanal mining. We will continue to show our support to the community members living in Margaret Village and all other mining affected communities within our reach.

David Lindobuhle Nene is a Human Rights and Social Justice Legal activist currently Employed as a Paralegal at MACUA-WAMUA. He had followed the career in Law as a passion and mostly important to fight the injustices in the marginalized communities.