Youth in Limpopo call on closed mines to re-open

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Young people in areas located next to mining operations in the Sekhukhune District in Limpopo are calling for the re-opening of closed mines. Some communities located in the area in say they are under severe economic strain, despite being located next to several mining operations.
The youth at Seelane village near Burgersfort say their employment prospects have diminished since the Twickenham Mine was placed under care and maintenance in 2018.
Young people in the area have previously called for the Bokoni Platinum to also re-open. As the rehabilitation, care and maintenance of some of the largest mining operations in this area enters its fifth year, discouraged work seekers in the area are despondent about securing a job in the mining industry.
The Twickenham mine is currently under care and maintenance with a skeleton staff. Due to economic pressures including debt and plummeting commodity prices, the mine has drastically scaled down its operations. Youth at Swazi Munyamane are affected.
“I am struggling to find work because the mines are closed so as you can see poverty is taking place, if they re-open then we will get jobs, most of the people will get jobs and the Mogoba village will start to develop the way it should because the mine is near” said an unemployed young person.
Training young people
Community leaders want to see the affected mines re-open. The local leader, Hiro Baloyo, says they want the mines to start training young people to create employment opportunities.
“The training that we agreed with the mine that if the program is still under care and maintenance, open the program, train us, then the training that the mine gave us is so little.”
Out of 160 mines in Limpopo, close to 100 remain active. About 50 are under care and maintenance. The Platinum Group Metals region in Sekhukhune has also not been spared.
Economic Development MEC, Thabo Mokone, says they are in the process of negotiating that the mines re-open.
“Only a few are under maintenance and care and when we had a mining indaba last year with the minister of Department of Mineral Resources and Energy he gave them an ultimatum.”
The MEC has further added that his department will hold a meeting next week with Glencore in a bid to start an industrial park in the Sekhukhune district.