Unearthing the truth: How mines failed communities in the Sekhukhune region of South Africa | Land Portal
Author(s): 
Centre for Applied Legal Studies, SCMAC and Amnesty International
Language of the news reported: 
English

This report is based on research into three mining companies operating in the Sekhukhune area of Limpopo and the experiences of local mining-affected communities. This research was undertaken by a team from Sekhukhune Combined Mining Affected Communities, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and Amnesty International South Africa.

This report examines the compliance of Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) of three mining companies in the Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM) area, namely Twickenham Platinum Mine (Twickenham), Marula Platinum Mine (Marula) and Sefateng Chrome Mine (Sefateng) and finds that these mines are to varying extents in non-compliance with aspects of their SLP obligations, resulting in human rights abuses in the communities they operate in.

The Sekhukhune region of South Africa is a mineral-rich but under-resourced area of the Limpopo province. In addition to agriculture, mining is an increasingly dominant source of direct employment in the province. Yet even with the arrival of mining operations and the potential employment opportunities for the region they bring, unemployment remains high at 47% and is projected to increase to 52% by 2023 and 56% by 2030.
People in Sekhukhune suffer poor access to services and score poorly on various development indicators, such as education and literacy levels, and access to health facilities. While they experience various intersecting negative impacts of mining on their environment and well-being, interviewees stated that they hardly saw any of the promised benefits of development. Witnesses interviewed felt excluded in local supply chain deals and transactions thereby increasing discontent. The report also found that there was poor coordination and monitoring of implementation of SLPs.

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