Kumba's application to evict Dingleton residents struck from the roll

Kumba Iron Ore's application to evict Dingleton residents was struck from the roll for lack of urgency on Friday, Johan Lorenzen from Richard Spoor Attorneys told News24. 

Richard Spoor is representing residents from the town, which is located near Sishen in the Northern Cape. 

The matter was heard by the High Court in Kimberley before Judge Bulelwa Pakati. 

Kumba, a subsidiary of Anglo American, has been in a protracted dispute with residents of the town of Dingleton for several years, over its attempts to move them from their homes to make way for its mining operations in the area. 

Some residents took up Kumba's offer and moved to the newly built Siyathemba area, on the outskirts of the little town of Kathu, which was built by Kumba Iron Ore.

According to Lorenzen, 28 residents remain and are refusing to leave. 

The mining company filed an application on August 23 to evict the residents who refuse to move from their homes.

Residents offered rental accommodation

Lorenzen said after receiving the application they also filed their answering papers and affidavits.  

"We filed our answering papers and affidavits saying that this was not urgent and that they just want to continue with their operations and the court decided that it was not an urgent matter and struck the matter from the roll and awarded costs to our clients," he said. 

Lorenzen said they had been in continuous negotiations with Kumba on residents' behalf to negotiate the terms of their relocation.

"Our clients want a structure with a title deed, while the mining company wants to provide them with rental accommodation," Lorenzen added. 

He said during the course of negotiations Kumba then decided to pursue the urgent eviction application. 

Lorenzen said the company argued its eviction application was because of safety concerns for the residents.

"We will now be sending a letter to the company to say let's go back to negotiate and solve this issue together and we hope that they will take up that offer," Lorenzo said. 

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