Malema reads mining companies the riot act

2015-08-21 17:17
Picture: Deaan Vivier

Picture: Deaan Vivier

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EFF leader Julius Malema has thrown down the gauntlet, warning mining companies on the rich platinum belt to take care of the communities in which they mine or face closure. 

“This is a warning shot. The masses say enough is enough. This is a warning shot. If you do not listen to the warning shot, this mine will come to a complete stop,” said Malema. “Today is the beginning of a battle. It will not be business as usual.” 

Thousands of his supporters clad in red took to the streets of the Tubatse municipality in Limpopo today. The protesters marched at least 6km to the Modikwa platinum mine, which is a joint venture between African Rainbow Minerals and Anglo American. 

“This is a declaration of a war against white capitalism. 

“If the mines do not look after our people in the communities, we will come for you.” 

The community members – many of whom are unemployed – said they had heard enough of the false promises made to them by the mining companies who operate in the rich platinum belt. 

“During the mining boom, these companies made more than enough. We know that the owners are living large. We are saying that they must use the money they made in the boom to fund the current situation.” 

He added that retrenchment was out of the question. 

“You have enough money; do not retrench people.” 

Speaking to City Press, a community member – who did not want to be named – said that he had grown wary of waiting for the local government to act and that he had given up on the mining companies who are failing to develop the area. 

“We have no water here. There are no jobs for us, but the mining companies are getting richer.” 

Tensions between some of the mining companies and residents of the area have escalated in the last few months. Angry residents have torched trucks and vandalised property belonging to the mines. 

Read more on:    julius ­malema  |  limpopo  |  platinum mining

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