As an organization working with communities on the receiving end of the negative impacts of mining, from health to environmental, social and economic challenges, we are disappointed to see the increase in profits being celebrated while the Portfolio Committee continues to obstruct and delay the amendment of legislation to stop the exclusion and exploitation of mining affected communities. MACUA and the communities we work with, have been calling for better legislation which protects the interests and development of mining affected communities and the environment.
Today the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy released a statement celebrating the improved sales and production performance in the mining sector, as tabled by Statistics SA for April 2023.
The celebration of the statistics which boast a 2,3% increase in sales, following a decline over the last 14 months, have highlighted the gross inequality that permeates the sector.
The report recognizes the production of gold and coal as the main drivers of growth. Both these minerals have been at the forefront of our fight as mining affected communities for years. We have extensively documented how the poorly regulated production of these minerals are an infringement on our human right as per section 24 of the constitution, that gives everyone a right to an environment which is not harmful to their health and wellbeing.
The fact that the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy is praising the growth of the industry that has been swindling and impoverishing mining affected communities out of their benefits, is very disturbing. As an organization that works with communities living in poverty, we can, and have provided a portfolio of evidence through our social audits report, to the Portfolio Committee on the poor infrastructure, failed compliance of mining companies, the high levels of air pollution, and the high rate of unemployment in mining areas across the country.
It is a mark of the disconnected nature of the political class who celebrate the very same system that deepens inequality and drives poverty, while ignoring the voices of the very people they are supposed to protect.
We are fed-up with mining giants preaching good news to investors but are failing to uplift the communities they are working in. They are reaping the profits at the expense of the marginalized.
If indeed mining companies have seen increase in their annual profits, how much of these profits are they investing back into the impoverished communities they are mining and why are they still failing to comply with their license obligations to deliver on their Social and Labour Plans?
If the Portfolio Committee is celebrating…at whose expense, are they celebrating?
We maintain that there will be nothing about us without us!
Macua Communications Officer
Cell: 079 777 6175