Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Water and air pollution

Terrence Ngobeni

On  the 27th February 2023 we wrote a letter to environmental officers of both Sibanye and Anglo American respectively. Our major concern is the impact the mining operation is having on the community.

Since nickel and chrome were found in the food and the water. We as Ikemeleng Environmental Development and Justice, have blown a whistle to other organizations in Ikemeleng to arrange a meeting with the mine to seek clarity about the impact of water and air pollution o  the community.

Most of the residents have skin problems such as acne and eczema. Others are suffering from lung cancer and cervical cancer in women of child bearing age.

Our plan is to acquire water testing kits to corroborate our story as the people of Marikana, we also want the safety officers of both Sibanye and Anglo American to be present when carry out the water testing. Same applies to volume of air pollution, because we feel that our constitutional right to clean and water are being violated as the community.

We are still waiting for a response from the two mines as we have furnished them with emails in line with the environmental act no 107of 1998 and NEMA principles


# water challenges

On the 11th to 15th March 2023 we faced a very terrible situation whereby we ended up using water from the river that is contaminated by acid mine drainage. This came as a result of people not having enough money to buy enough water for cooking and drinking. Some even broke into a local school in order to access clean drinkable water.

Those who are prevelaged to own RDP houses were the hardest hit because they use water borne toilets that are inside the houses, for them the problem was double.

We feel that Sibanye Stillwaterr is responsible for the water shortage because they use too much water when they drill the rocks underground. Recently a thirty five year old man who works as a drill operator confessed that they use a lot of water underground, he feels that the mine need to recycle the contaminated water and reuse it underground.

The problem is that the drilling machine must always use clean water to prevent blockages. That we as the people of Marikana will never have access to clean and drinkable as long as the mine continues to operate.

We will write letters to the DMRE that the mine communicate with us before they open and start to operate. We will continue to engage with them because we need a solution as people of Marikana.