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Community Alerts/ Jomo Khumalo/Ekurhuleni/ 16 June 2017

According to the police people invaded the land that does not belong to them because they have been promise that they will build houses for them in that area by their local Councillor. It’s been years now and they have been waiting. So they started to build shacks in that area. Couple of neighbors started to complain about the shacks and crime around there, they decided to group themselves and write a petition to their police commissioner about the matter.

The Police came in with Red ants to remove those people with their shacks. This shows that our local government are still promising people things when they are about to go for local election. Their slogan is now (they will never stop until it’s done). By Jomo Khumalo-EEO

 

 

Community Alerts/Tokelo/Limpopo/14 June 2017

Around Burgersfort at Limpopo there’s a village called Magobading.

On 02 June 2017 it was Friday, something terrible happened where a young lady gave birth along the road where she was going to catch a taxi to the hospital around 07:00 morning. “I was passing and I saw an old woman and a young lady lying down and I went there and ask old woman what’s happening? Before she answered she asked for my blanket because this young lady is about to give birth, I gave her and I started to call Mecklenburg hospital but they didn’t pick up my calls, I decided to go to the hospital when I got there I just found people relaxing, this got me angry but tried to control my emotions and started to alert them about the incident that I left in Magobading and that I’ve been calling the hospital but no one picked up my calls they started to deny receiving calls. I just said I don’t want to take this issue to the next level is where they give me an attention and is where the  ambulance went out to go to help a lady even though the little one had already arrived when they got to the scene around 08:00 said Mametja Mandla “. By Tokelo-Limpopo

Community Alerts/ Andries Mocheko/Limpopo/14 June 2017

Today’s public participation process for postponement of the minimum emissions standard compliance timeframes for SO2 Emissions, for postponement Eskom’s Medupi and Matimba-coal power station.

The meeting was supposed to start at 15:00- 19:00 Ditheku Primary School Marapong Township.

The meeting started little bit late because some delayed community members who didn’t have any info/clue about the meeting and some were not informed about this meeting, the delay was as a result of the explanation to those who don’t know and don’t have any clue what a public  participation meeting and public consultation meeting is all about. What we told our community is that if you don’t know what the meeting all about please asks people who know and who have information and experience about this kind of meetings, before you sign the register because they can use that register against you.

Meeting started around 15:30-15:45, some of our community members are ignorant when you try to advise them they just sign hoping that they will get a job when signing a register before meeting. However we were surprise how Eskom consultants where do or conducted their public participation; breaking our communities in groups and tell them this is the easy way to make people to understand and able to rise questions freely so, without fear. For who? “Eskom”.

Organizations like LUF, WEJF and WWAO they tried to engage with the Eskom Environmental team and their Consultant to try to understand why are they use that method they using now, they started to ask us this; “tells us what to do guys cause we think that you can come with a better solution than’ as Organizations” response from them, while we try to work with them make this meeting successful

Unfortunately the meeting was disrupted by some of our community, telling Eskom that we don’t want postponement cause you increase poverty in our society, all you bring is sickness and death in our community. They told Eskom to go back to drawing board and discuss about how they can resolve issues like crime, prostitution, unemployment and skill development around Lephalale. Before they can come and talk about their postponement. By Andries Mocheko-Limpopop

 

Community Alerts/ Mathapelo/Limpopo/13 June 2017

Today the 13/06/2017 I received a call from one of the herdsman from Morapaneng who found his cattle dead next to Motse Bridge. The cow started to urinate blood on Sunday and he rushed to buy medicine yesterday but when he came back the cow never return from grazing post. This morning he was informed by the other Herdsman that they saw his cow next to the bridge and when he run to the place he found the cow dead. The dead cow has a calf and it was the first time it was still young and Mr Maakhudu was hoping to have more calves from it. But today he was disappointed and he even called the community representative and told him about this matter but he never showed up.  Mr Maakhudu was so disappointed by what the representative told him that he doesn’t have proper phone to take pictures. It really hurting how our parents are losing their livestock and nobody cares. By Mathapelo-Limpopo

Community Alerts/Francina /Limpopo/11 June 2017

Mokolo bridge is found on the R33 road when entering Lephalale under (Lephalale Municipality) in the Waterberg district at Limpopo .

Years back around the early 2000 before Medupi was built, Mokolo river was full of sand and water so communities were going to the river to catch fishes to feed themselves so as their families, but now it is dry and farm owners living next to that river struggle to pump water and also the bricks project owners struggle to get water and sand from the river.

The bridge of R33 is also in trouble because the is no soil to cover the bottom of the bridge because of soil erosion  and the main problem is that the road is way too busy, used especially by trucks that export coal from EXXARO Coal mine and also different public transport from different cities . We have a problem of lack of water. By Francina

 

Community Alerts/Tokelo/Limpopo/11 June 2017

There’s a village called Moroke Sekutlong that is situated next to R37 road and Thokoane village under Fetakgomo Greater Tubatse Municipality at Limpopo

The village is suffering due to bad roads for years now. We are facing a challenge when is raining cause there’s a mud that delays our vehicles and school kids transports when they come to pick our children to school. Five years back Sekutlong village and Thokoane village were under one ward (Ward 9) with counsellor Nkwana, when the road were discussed they were looking at those two wards/villages, so our Municipality promised to build an access road that goes with access bridge three years back but that access failed.

This year due to geo tag our village is under ward 14 under a new counsellor Makofane. What happened few weeks ago our municipality approved that access road under ward 9, that’s when we took a step and alerted them that, as ward 14 that road suit us as well we must take part on the project as it will pass on our village, the municipality didn’t have a problem with that.

Around our village there’s a person who represent Royal house we call him/her (Ntona), that’s where the problem started, we went there me, Counsellor and CDW just to alert that Ntona about the access road and he must give us a go ahead to go to the royal house (Moshate). The Ntona didn’t take us to that part, only to find out that Ntona says bad things about us at Royal house. On the first of June we went to royal house just to alert the Chief about the project and we found bad news about us. On the 08th June we went there again and we heard an agreement and she gave us a go ahead where we can introduce Contract Man.

On 09 June counsellor, CDW and contract Man went there as well. They said ” the chief wanted  money just to welcome a contract man she wanted R10000.00 ,5 percent from project budget and the money for soil and stone that they are going to use, when we counted that money is close to R100 000.00 “. So now there’s no way forward and it might happen that the road won’t be built around our village. This shows our Royal houses (Chiefs) don’t care about the community they just care about their pocket. By Tokelo-Limpopo

 

Community Alerts/Mathapelo/Limpopo/10 June 2017

On the 6 we went to door to door with Action Aid Social Audit team that was led by community of Monametse in Atok. This village is affected by Anglo American, mining operations under Bokone.

It was touching and inspiring to listen to old people talk about how the mine divided them as communities in order to get away with their empty promises. This family showed us the cracks of the very nice house that the mine has built and the weak foundation the mine made for the people of Mmalingine, there are sewage that was built in 2014, the families complains that the mine is not maintaining even today and they are no longer using the toilets because when they flush the dirt comes back.  This family has built the house there since 2015 but the house is not cracked so they told me that the mine used cheap material to build them the houses. What made me happy is when they said they still think that one day things will be better because of the work our fellow comrade Moshabi is doing in the village. By Mathapelo-Limpopo

 

Community Alerts/Lorraine Kakaza/09 June 2017

On the 8th June I was in Grootvlei farm conducting a survey, when I got to the households I felt like crying as its difficult to see people living in such bad conditions while they surrounded by mines.

When I ask about the mines the honest people were telling the story of mining industries and their behaviour. Mam Nkambule related her story to the mine that operated there from 1990 -1991 but the mine didn’t operate for long as it was operating without the water use licence and there was no health and safety representatives that leads to 2 mine workers death and that resulted in mine to be closure, but they can’t remember the name of the mine now.

MamNkambule explained that she grew up in the farm her parents used to work for the farmer named Hans he then passed away after he passed away all the farm workers took over. As time passed the municipality came with development of toilets, electricity and water for few house and as the community they donated money to connect water pipe so that they don’t walk long distance, but the water is not drinkable is only for household activities
(cleaning etc) and irrigation, and the electricity is not for free they had to buy at the Chief Albert Luthuli municipality under Gert Sibande District.

But there’s something so disturbing the municipality doesn’t want to build them the RDP houses because they said to the community they took their money of RDP and bought the land for them. On the other side they said if they can’t handle this place it will be sold again and yesterday some municipality official came and told them to wait for their new houses.

The mine didn’t hire people who are staying at this farm. When the mine left they didn’t rehabilitate the area or even close the sinkholes, it was an open cast mine. Two boys died at the spot they were digging coal, their families we were never compensated, there was no open case this took place in 2010 by July. The mine won’t give them the two bodies of the diseased; they have even lost their livestock.

They can’t grow their own food if they have to hire a truck R800.00 per hector, R250.00 diesel and pay R1450.00 for two hectors and R2000.00 for crops, fertilizer. Still they don’t expect good results at the end when it’s time to harvest. The majority at this farm are not working and this affects the young generation as there are no schools or preschool facilities and the mines  does not implement its SLP. By Lorraine Kakaza

Community Alerts/Lorraine Kakaza/Mpumalanga/08 June 2017

 

On the 07/06/2017 I spend the my day on field doing a survey at the community of Kazuka also known as Five Cent, the survey is about transformation of extractive industries for sustainable economic and social development and real change .Kazuka community they are always happy to see me cause they are able to share the stories about their living conditions with me.

The common thing that I have heard about from each household is blasting and cracks it’s so disturbing as the mine don’t tell the community when they are about to blast there’s no syringing  nothing, POM’s is does its  blasting without their concern and without confirming .

This hurt their dignity, culture and human rights they have lost hope in a way that they felt as if they can stop the mines ,they are not allowed to collect wood the mine has fenced the area if the caught collecting wood they are arrested.

They normally do blasting around 11am and 15:00 pm those who have phones do receive SMS from the mines that they will be blasting.Our children’s even fear to play outside either inside the house when they are outside they faint ,when they are inside they think the house will fall and they have noticed a bad smell after blasting when I ask ” what’s the smell ,smells like?” they response is it smells like a chemical ,and after that they will have headache.

When it’s raining they don’t sleep the houses that have been built by the mines are full of cracks, the ceiling is falling, some of their houses are built on the wetland.

Their children are study far in the location using the government bus, but most leave home with an empty stomach because their parents and grannies are not unemployed, it gets better after they receive the social grant from SASSA (South African Social Service Agency).When the grant money runs out the children depend on the food scheme at school during weekend they are home so they would make a plan and one alternative is to borrow money from SASSA.

The only hope they have now is if they can tell their stories through a documentary that will teach other  about the negative impacts of mines when it comes to land, water, air quality, livestock and the lifestyle changes from better to worse even to high rate of mortality

They message that they left is their children can’t finish at school ,they run after the mine workers fell pregnant and we as parents we have to face the consequences ,Children around Carolina are on drugs ,there’s crime South Africa let unite and tell the world that mining kills our environment ,us and the earth is at risk .”Let’s unite “By T.L Kakaza

 

Community Alerts/Lorraine Kakaza/Mpumalanga/06 June 2017

Communities living next to the mines suffer for the rest of their lives; it was so painful to hear people complaining about the mines that operate next to them. Yesterday I visited a small community of Masithande which is surrounded by three mines Phembani coal mine, East Side and Pit let by POM’s. Masithandane is found at Carolina under Chief Albert Luthuli municipality

All three mines are open casts and operate without the community concern and create more problems like teenage pregnancy, drugs and unemployment as they do not employ local people and this affect the youth.

So this has created a division Mrs Vilakazi says “we have a challenge of water, we don’t have water but when you pass at the mine you will see at the washing plant there do have water, the municipality take long to bring water, and they come once or twice in a week. When we are sick we have to go to town if the clinic doesn’t have enough medication one must to go to the hospital and wait on queue till late, while we stay far. I’m old but I’m tired of the dust that came from the mine cause I’m coughing and the mine is not willing to pay us when we ask questions they will be tell us to go to the municipality to report, what is it that we must report cause they treat us so badly we don’t have flushing toilets we had to dig a hole to have a toilet, again it’s too risky for my grand child and it’s a walking distance when it’s full we had  to dig another one. I’m getting pension grant the money is not enough it was going to be better if I had a garden.

We breath black air from the coal dust every day, we don’t have water and sanitation but mines got everything on their side. It took me years to build my house I use to stay in a the mud house until I got feed up of rain cause we wouldn’t sleep when it’s raining. We don’t have a road that shows that our government doesn’t care at all.

I was with my crew doing a survey trying to find out the transformation of extractive industries for sustainable economic and social development and a real change. To be honest the company is undermining, destroying the efforts of community to build itself and its economy than supporting them. Communities around Mpumalanga they hate mining as it doesn’t bring any change but it brings hunger, poverty and conflict to people’s life. By T.L Kakaza

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