FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) strongly denounces the actions of the ANC followers in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, where MACUA members were intimidated today, 10 Feb 2024.
The intimidation of our members happened during the Socio-Economic Challenges Stakeholder Engagement meeting hosted by the government under the Parliament Constituency Office, the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy and the Emalahleni Local Municipality.
Gwede Mantashe resorted to rent-a-crowd tactics in an attempt to intimidate and disrupt MACUA members. It turns out that, the ANC and the minister of exploitation, Gwede Mantashe, did not anticipate that, we, as the movement that represents communities affected by mining activities, will be present to vocalise the voices of those communities.
Parliament advertised the event but an ANC agenda was distributed at the event. It is crystal clear to us that the ANC has turned a public-funded event into an electioneering opportunity. We call upon the ANC to stop using public funds meant for communities’ engagement into mere desperate electioneering tactics.
“We were deceived by the invitation which called us to engage with an executive member who is a minister of DMRE. Upon our arrival, the programme talked to an ‘ANC national chairperson’ to facilitate the community engagement as per the invitation,” said Bongani Martins Nkosi, MACUA’s Phola branch coordinator in Emalahleni.
This is unacceptable and pathetic, as these disruptive tactics prevent for a meaningful dialogue, where voices of the marginalised and affected communities can be heard. This hostile behaviour goes against the principle of open and respectful dialogue, which is essential for addressing the grave issues facing mining-affected communities.
MACUA stands firm in its commitment to represent the interests of communities impacted by mining activities and to advocate for just and sustainable solutions to the socio-economic challenges that our members face. The use of intimidatory tactics only serves to undermine the potential for constructive engagement and cooperation between stakeholders.
MACUA remains dedicated to fostering genuine partnerships, promoting social justice, and driving positive change in the mining sector for the benefit of all impacted communities.
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