Some people from the mining communities in the Sekhukhune District in Limpopo are calling on the government to ensure that the mines benefit locals.
They say the mining companies get away with billions of rands while the communities live in poverty.
This comes ahead of the start of the two-day mining conference in Polokwane on Thursday.
Residents at Atok where the Bokone Platinum mine was closed in 2017, want the mine to be reopened.
Transformation in the mining sector with Dineo Peta:
One resident says, “Even the time when the mine was operating, people were just suffering, until today we are suffering. The government must come and engage the mines, to make sure that people around here benefit from the mine.”
Another resident says, “These mines didn’t benefit us at all, because they employ people from far, while we are unemployed. That’s why we engaged on illegal chrome mines because they benefit us. We don’t even have water, we still drink water with animals, but we stay next to the mine.”
Limpopo government spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela says the conference will also look into how the mining communities benefit from the mines.
“We have bigger reserves for platinum that will go for over 50 years in the province. We are earmarking more further developments along those sides of minerals our province is experiencing, which is what we want to benefit from and what we want to do as we go forward with this particular conference.”
Ramakuela adds: “What we need is a commitment that’s longer lasting. And we are seeing this coming out of the number of investors that have made their pledges previously and have converted those pledges into practical solutions.”