The Northern Cape says mining companies should take greater responsibility to minimise the economic effects on former mining towns.
The province is on a drive to revitalise mining towns and uplift the standard of living of former miners.
The withdrawal of mining operations has left many towns in the province devastated.
Bentley Vass, MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs in the Northern Cape says: “If we look at the history of mining towns, some are ghost towns, and as government we need to change that because there should be life after mining. We are now working closely with mining houses to make sure at the end of the day we are working together for the betterment of our people.”
Various stakeholders from local government, mining companies and municipalities are taking steps to develop and revitalise mining towns.
Support for municipalities to achieve vital infrastructure development of specifically mining towns is on the cards.
Gayonyadine Mathobela, Tsantsabane Municipality says: “Because we are a mining town we have drastic increases in population growth, which manifest in informal settlements in our area. We have about more than 4 000. So this intervention will help us to ensure that we resolve the bulk infrastructure problem and link services so that we are able to start building houses.”
The provincial government wants mining companies operating in the Northern Cape to partner with local municipalities to develop old mining towns, in order to sustain livelihood for the people they left behind after mining operations ceased.
Sylvia Lucas, Northern Cape Premier says: “What we want for now is in terms of the social labour plans and spatial development framework and IDPS of municipalities. We want a medium and long term planning from their side as to how they are going to assist, in the first instance to bring in bulk services addressing bulk water, sanitation and electricity because mines also need that services.”
According to government in the Northern Cape these plans should be implemented speedily so that the lives of the inhabitants of defunct mining towns can be improved for the better.
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