Workshop on our rights in a mining community
Community Alerts/ Lorraine Kakaza/Carolina-Mpumalanga/19 August 2017
We were workshop today with Susan Moraba at life-love at Emalahleni run by the Centre for Environmental Rights on the 19 /08/2017
We learnt about the right to information on the challenges we face as a community. We looked at the emission standards for the coal mining industry. This is the requirements was set out in the law on air pollutants released into the atmosphere.,We learnt how to research it .It is important when a mine came to your area to know whether they have the environment authorisations ,wether they have done an environment impact assessment, and wether they have a water use licence.
We learnt that Communities
* Have a right to know what amount of water a mine will use.
* How are they going to maintain clean water
* How long their social labour plan is going to last, what is it that they are promising to do in terms of community development, and that when changing their SLP they must involve the community when making amedments.
Access to information
* we have a right to information in the law in the PAIA – Promotion of Access to Information Act.
The mine or industries must have a waste management and we can link that with the Bill of Rights in our constitution so that at the end of the day we can see if they are violating any rights .
We learnt that if a mine commits in the SLP to hire a certain number of local people and at the end of the day they don’t meet this commitment they are committing an legal offence
-Communities can request copies of the Social Labour Plan
We need to note that the mines are required by law to have trust fund for rehabilitation of the mine when the mine shuts down.We need to know if this money is used for this purpose.
The CER has published a guide book : When Mines Break Environmental Laws: How to Use Criminal Prosecution to Enforce Environmental Rights
This book has useful information and guidelines on how to take up a case when a mine breaks the law.
We want to give thanks to all the community members of Vosman, Action Voice ,Vemja Culisa and Matome and Marthàn for sharing the the environmental violation logbook.