Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Kanana Youth Protests Force Mines to Employ Them By Seun Motsumi

Previously, there had been multiple and different issues involving the mines Orkney town under the Matlosana municipality. Some of these issues were those regarding how the mines were supposed to be helpful to communities (Corporate Social Responsibility), to communities around which they operate, there are deteriorating health conditions of former mine employees, also polluted dust from the mines affects nearby township residents.

As it has been geographically noted, number 10 shaft is the one closest to Kanana township, therefore its chemical pollution directly affects the residents of Kanana township, especially those residing within a kilometer away from the mine. In mid- March this year in Kanana Township we saw the angry group of youth took their frustrations to the street on the issue of youth employment, for them to be noticed they burned tyres and chanting struggle slogans.

As time went on, the streets of Kanana township became the a battle field for the police and the protesting youth which resulted in some youth shot with rubber bullets and some got arrested. Finally, when they were given the opportunity to express reasons for their hostility, these youth stated that they demand employment at the No 10 shaft, and that top management from this mine should hold a series of meetings with them to see the process through. Also, they complained of fraud, bribes, that is taking place within number 10 shaft. When the series of meetings had to begin, mine management told the youth that before these meetings could begin, it required a letter of approval from Matlosana city council and this letter had to be obtained by  the youth.

The mine management intentionally prolonged the beginning of these meetings but at the end they gave in and advised the youth to elect those who will represent them at these meetings. The results of these meetings were that the mine will stop employing people from far places. Also , the mine will resume by employing about 200 of these youth, then it will further employ more and more youth as time goes on, finally, the youth of Kanana are now reaping the fruits of their hard fought employment, they are also realizing the corporate social responsibility in action.