Unbearable mine dust and pollution, that’s what Postmansburg residents in the Northern Cape is up in arms about. The culprit is understood to be Tsantsabane Mine.

Bongiwe Nombewu has been living in the area for the past two years, not too far from the Tsantsabane Mining Company. It mines iron ore.

Nombewu says the dust and pollution poses a health risk to her family.

“This mine is affecting us a lot because it’s not far from us. We don’t sleep because that mine is operating 24/7. So we don’t sleep because of noise and it affects us because of the dust. So I am not happy at all about that mine.”

The community called on the Department of Mineral Resources to intervene. The department says it’s referred the case to its Enforcement and Compliance Chief Directorate. An illegal mining case has also been registered at the Postmasburg police station.

Community leader, Tebogo Moroane, says they are going to apply for a legal march to the mine.

“So we will take a new mandate tomorrow and call a meeting. If they are saying we should close the mine, we are going to apply for a legal march to the mine.”

Tsantsabane Mine manager, Tom Botha, says due process was followed.

“Well we are legally mining and we are lawfully here. It’s a community mine, it’s not our property and it’s not foreign company; it’s a South African company.”

Mineral Resources say they will engage with the community to see how best to resolve the grievance.