Mining beneficiaries cause conflicts in Limpopo

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Mining beneficiation has caused conflicts between several communities living next to a piece of land where chrome is being mined at Atok outside Burgersfort in Limpopo.

Residents of about five villages have accused mining company Bauba Platinum Mine of favouring the Jibeng community with business and job opportunities.

Spokesperson for the concerned communities Lesedi Maphakane says they have tried to raise the matter with relevant stakeholders.

“The Mooilek farm covers about four to six communities and Bauba mine operates in exclusion of Lekgwareng and other communities. There are only Jibeng people that are benefiting. This matter is a very serious concern that the community has raised even to a level of government. It’s important that Bauba should operate in terms of the mining laws in the country. It cannot be correct that one community is favoured.”

Meanwhile, Bauba Platinum Mine says according to the law, the Jibeng community deserves to benefit from mining opportunities because they are directly affected by mining operations.

Company spokesperson Wynand Venter says Jibeng village is situated about 500 meters from the mine, while the other villages are further away.

“The social and labour responsibility that mining companies have towards surrounding communities is in terms of the directly interested and affected parties. In this instance let it be the Jibeng community. It’s not a case of side lining the other communities.

“Those communities do not reside on the farm where the mining activities take place. It would not be fair towards the directly affected that resides on the farm. They are the guys that are on a daily basis I’m close proximity to the mine. It is definitely them that are affected mostly by any mining operations.”