Protesters halt work for a 2nd day at Limpopo mine

2015-05-12 16:12

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Polokwane - Mining has been halted for a second day at Bokoni Platinum mine on the Sekhukhune platinum belt in Limpopo as protesting residents demanded a meeting with the mine and government.

Residents blocked the R37 between Polokwane and Burgersfort with stones and burning tyres, barring motorists from using the busy road that links the town to Polokwane.

At the centre of the protest are millions of rands the community claims it was promised when the mining company was granted mining rights eight years ago.

Protesters are accusing the mining company and the government of failing to invest in the community.

Community spokesperson Malope Lesufi said they were called to a meeting on Monday, but it was then cancelled.

“We were told that the meeting will not take place because participants are afraid that the road is blocked, but we take this is as a lousy excuse because we have been seeking this meeting for too long and we are willing to talk,” said Lesufi.

The protest started on Monday after residents at a meeting on Sunday resolved to protest and demand their 2.1% equitable share.

According to Lesufi, the Community Trust failed to direct and drive economic development as mandated by the community.  

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Malesela Ledwaba told News24 the police were closely monitoring the situation.

Atlatsa Resources Corporation spokesperson Prudence Lebina said the company was focusing on safeguarding its Bokoni mine properties and also trying ensure the safety of its workers.

The mine occupies at least 15 000 hectares in the platinum belt and harvests approximately 80 000 tons per month, and once processed, produces approximately 150 000 4E ounces per annum.  

Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests  |  mining

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