Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Maditlhokoa, Inhaling Hazardous Dust

Olebogeng Motene/BuaMC/Rustenburg/24thJuly2016

Sunny and clear blue skies as it appears in the picture attached but Maditlhokoa  community is inhaling hazardous dust from the dump on the other side of the road where they were relocated by Tharisa minerals in 2009-2010 to the other side of the road forcefully. This farming community was comprised by mostly farm and mine workers.  White farmers in the area slowly sold off their farms to mining companies and left their workers at the mercy of companies they sold their land to. This lead to the community to be relocated without their consent to the other side of the road where  they are  faced with environmental and health injustices as a result of Tharisa mine which is an open cast mine with a life span of 25 or more years. Political conflict in the area works in favour of Tharisa minerals as they easily manipulate the already divided and conflicted community. This has lead to three protests with the community demanding to know what the SLP ( Social Labour Plan)  says in regard to the area, access to clean water as they currently drink from community water tankers with water from boreholes, issues of service delivery,  employment.

The dump on the other side of the road has left the community with respiratory challenges. As I walk down the road I passed four people (3male and 1 female child) coughing severely which could be a result of the dust level they face daily. “I don’t even waste my time by dusting my furniture, I mean it’s pointless because when Tharisa blasts we are covered by a dust cloud and all the work is not evident anymore. And we don’t even know their blasting schedule we just got used to be on alert at certain times” Anonymous who is female in her late 30’s adds “I actually miss the other side, we had our challenges but nothing compared to this ”

Relocation to a better location would justice to this community.Maditlhoka20160724