In 2008 the Tharisa Minerals mining company demolished the shacks of farm labourers living in the Spruitfontein area. Tharisa bought the farm for mining purposes. They promised that they would rebuild the shacks in another area. But they did not do this. A committee of representatives was formed and reported the matter to the Human Rights Commission. Tharisa then built people houses in a new shack settlement.
Mmaditlhokoa before the relocationEach family was built a 2 room zinc house. The place where they built the houses was bare and there was no vegetation. The houses were built on either side of a busy road and this created a problem of safety.
The people complain that the old houses they lived in had many rooms. The new shacks only had two rooms. Large families therefore have lost their privacy since adults and children are forced to share the same rooms to sleep in.
People used to keep cattle because they had grazing land. Now they have lost this.
People complained that they were forced to use bore holes and a nearby river for additional water since the water they received from water tanks was not sufficient. The people believe that the borehole and river water was contaminated.
The committee representing the people wrote to Tharisa through their lawyers the Legal Resources Center in August this year .They asked the company to engage with them in a meaningful way.
The company asked the committee to prove it was the representatives of the community. They also said that they had proper consultation with the community and the full support of government , the ward committee and members of the ANC branch in the area.
They clearly did not want to talk with the committee representing the community