Date: 07 August 2023
To: All Media Editors, Journalists and News Outlets

MACUA WAMUA calls on the Portfolio Committee of Mineral Resources and Energy to take responsibility for the bloodbath in the Informal Mining Sector.

MACUA has noted the statement issued today by the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy in which it continues to deny its complicity and role in the ongoing bloodbath in the informal mining sector.

It is disturbing to note that the Portfolio Committee was the one that allowed the amendments to the MPRDA to lapse under its watch.  

This portfolio Committee was the one who failed to listen to the cries of MACUA and others as we told them that we should not seek to criminalise desperate people living in poverty, but to rather ensure that the sector is regulated so that it can generate wealth for communities and so that communities could then isolate criminal elements and expose them for exploiting young black lives.  

We  believe that the implementation of a comprehensive legal framework, which can then be policed by the collective society, is crucial to finding a lasting solution for the sector.

By providing a clear path to formalization, small-scale artisanal miners can thrive in an environment that encourages legitimate, regulated, and sustainable mining practices.  

Furthermore, the implementation of this legal framework will contribute to the reduction of criminality within the artisanal mining industry. By establishing clear guidelines and regulations, it becomes easier to identify and address illegal activities, minimizing the risks associated with unregulated mining operations. This, in turn, will help prevent further loss of life, ensuring a safer environment for all those involved.

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But instead of doing its job by providing clear constitutionally mandated legislative frameworks, it is this Portfolio Committee, who despite its own recommendations, has given the governing party, and the DMRE ,free reign to ignore the interest of the marginalised and the poor in favour of big corporate business who shift profits offshore.

We also regret the baseless and uniformed xenophobic opinions of the Portfolio Committee that seeks to characterise the sector as being dominated by miners from neigbouring countries.  

We have previously provided research which debunks this attempt to use xenophobia to hide the failures of the DMRE and the Portfolio Committee and we call on the Portfolio Committee to stop feeding xenophobia by its unfounded and poorly informed opinions.

As an organization dedicated to the advancement of social justice, MACUA WAMUA remains steadfast in its vision to strengthen the determination, self-confidence, and resistance skills of impoverished and marginalized communities affected by mining. By uniting grassroots social groups and organizations, MACUA seeks to hold those in power accountable, enabling communities to advocate effectively when engaging with the state and other institutions.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Gilbert Moela  
Media and Communication Officer

Editors’ notes
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.  

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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.