|Letter to Mr M Diliza CEO SA Chamber of Mines regarding "Resettlement of Makopane communities - issues of clarity" from the UDM President (1 September 2008)|
The abovementioned matter refers.
Yesterday I visited the community of Gapuka village in the Makopane area, where I was received by the local Chief and members of the community.
Firstly let me commend Anglo Platinum for setting such a high standard and demonstrating what a rural village should look like, following their resettlement of that community.
It would have been far better if you and your members had a joint-programme with Government, where Government could meet you halfway on things like sewage reticulation, schools and clinics. I would indeed encourage the relevant Government departments to embrace what Anglo Platinum has started and follow-up on this model of rural development.
However, whilst I engaged the community, it became clear that there are certain issues that may require you and your member's attention. Even though the overall development appears good, there is some of the housing that has cracks that need looking at. It was further reported that the communities are in the dark about what royalties - if any - are due to them; the communities complain that they are not briefed about the meetings between the particular mining company and Local Government Councillors, who then fail to report back to the community. The community also reported that they urgently need Anglo Platinum to send a delegation to meet them and that everybody in that area should be in attendance and told exactly what are the benefits - if any - which are accruing to the community. If there is any such money or investments, what is the value of these and who is managing it? If such funds are available, what further development programmes are being planned, because the poverty and unemployment in that area is very high?
From my own observation, if there are any such royalties, there are development programmes that can be started, such as a knitting/sowing factory to produce clothing for local chain stores, whilst creating jobs for the local community. Bursaries could also be made available for local children to study in the fields of geology, law and the environment.
I would strongly recommend that the Mining Houses engage the Department of Minerals & Energy if there are such royalties, in order to assist these communities to access these funds and uplift themselves.
For further discussion and consideration I'm sure the local Anglo Platinum officials and the local traditional leadership in Gapuka (Makopane) would be able to shed more light.
Bantu Holomisa, MP