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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

Miners ‘must commit to social benefits before getting licences’

Before any mining takes place, there must be extensive consultation with communities, North West rural communities demand.

Rural communities in the North West want a model “spelling out meaningful consultation and beneficiation” to be embedded in the department of mineral resources’ policy before mining companies are granted a licence to mine there, Bakgatla-Bakgatla Community Policy Association chairperson Bridgeman Sojane says.

“Before any mining takes place, there must be extensive consultation with communities. We need a document that spells out what processes mining companies should follow.

“Currently, they go to the chief, who is an old man, and he summons his headmen who are perhaps three times older than him. Mining bosses then slaughter a cow and there is a big feast.

“No attention is paid to the details of the document they’re asked to sign before it’s sent to the department that grants the mining licence.”

He said communities wanted a workshop “to fully engage on the model” to be used.

“We need to know what percentage of the company earnings will go to corporate social investment. The social labour plan should cover employment of locals. When there are mining operations around us, we should not struggle to find work.”

Environmental pollution was another problem. “We want to know the level of dust and toxic emissions. Someone has to account to the community on what’s being done about pollution from mining operations.”

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