Community alerts, Lorraine Kakaza, Carolina, Mpumalanga, 2018/05/22
Mining Affected Communities Reject Minister Mantashe`s Sham Community Consultation Process. – Demonstrations in KZN after Minister Cancels Consultation without notice.
Mining Affected communities arrived in Newcastle at the Venue and date advertised by the DMR for a mining Consultation only to find an empty hall and No DMR or Minister. Community members who arrived at the venue had not only left their homes in the early hours of the morning, they also travelled hundreds of kilometres to advertised consultation only to be informed that the meeting was rescheduled for the 31 May 2018.
This is yet another example of the disdain with which communities are treated by the DMR and once again highlights the Sham Show that the current mining Consultations have been.
Gilbert Moela of MACUA lamented that: “This is unacceptable, people use money they don’t have to get to this place now they are being told the meeting has been postponed at the eleventh hour. The Department must reimburse the people,”
The pattern of cancelling of meetings at the last minute, shifting venues and generally trying every trick in the book to exclude MACUA and community activists from engaging on the Charter and the exposing the SHAM SHOW, will surely come back to haunt the Minister and the DMR.
MACUA has instructed its attorneys to prepare a further court challenge to this process and we have written to the Minister to point out the shortcomings and to ask him to do the honourable thing to negotiate with us with respect and dignity as all community and citizens deserve before the matter reaches the court.
Given the Ministers arrogance to date we suspect that the Minister will not heed our counsel and that matters will continue to grow ever more tense as every effort is made to exclude communities from having a meaningful say in their own governance.
Mining Affected Communities, “despite being a directly interested and affected parties to the Mining Charter, have still not been afforded an opportunity to participate in negotiations on any version of the Mining Charter, and we reject the sham being sold to the public and the media.” says Meshack Mbangula, the National Coordinator for MACUA.
While Nester Ndebele, National Coordinator of WAMUA says that “it is regrettable that the DMR and Gwede Mantashe`s team still continue to reduce communities to rubber stampers of elite deals with the Chamber of Mines and other stakeholders” and insists that “the whole thing is calculated to further impoverish communities while the usual suspects grow rich off our suffering.”
The deep levels of disdain and contempt displayed by the state toward communities, forced MACUA and WAMUA, together with MEJCON and four other community groups, to approach the Courts to affirm our status as relevant and interested stakeholders who should be consulted on the formulation of the Mining Charter.
On the 19th February 2018 the Court clearly stated that the Court records, that MACUA, WAMUA, MEJCON and the four other community groups, “as recognised by the Minister of Mineral Resources are interested and relevant stakeholders for the purpose of consultation on the Charter formulation process.”
We call on the Minister, The President and the DMR to immediately stop the SHAM SHOWS which are held at the Tax payers expense and to engage MACUA in proper and legitimate negotiations on the development of the Mining Charter without any further delay.