News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
1 minute read
16 Aug 2017
5:15 am

Illegal miners demand urgent zama zamas conference from Zwane

Virginia Keppler

They also asked the minister to do away with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

Mining communities and Zama-Zama miners marched to the offices of the Department of Mineral Resources to deliver a memorandum calling for the immediate scrapping of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) amendment bill and the 2017 Mining Charter, and to demand the decriminalisation of Zama-Zama miners, 15 August 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

About 200 members of the Mining Affected Communities United Action (Macau) marched to the office of the department of mineral resources in Pretoria yesterday demanding an immediate moratorium on persecuting hungry and needy zama zama miners.

They also asked that the department work with them to call an urgent zama zama conference. The protesters called on Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane to do away with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

They maintain it is a product of an undemocratic process, it gives precedence to the extraction of minerals without other considerations and serves the destructive interest of pro-mining groups, who allegedly have no respect for communities and the environment.

Macau spokesperson Mechack Mbangula said their members came from all nine provinces in the country.

He said they wanted the minister to enter into negotiations with them to ensure zama zamas’ voices were entrenched in the mining legislative processes and they be treated with respect and consideration before any decisions affecting their interests were taken.