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A Cape Town based organisation called Publish What You Pay is on a road-show programme in the province to pro-mote transparent flow of information in the fight against corruption, as well as making communities aware of their rights - especially about mining houses.
On May 11, 2017 a workshop was held at Kuruman SAPS's canteen where about thirty participants at-tended the function.
The National Coordinator of the organisation, Ms Tafadzwa Kuvhe-ya, said that the organisation is a global alliance of NGOs, civic organisations, faith based organisations and other individuals whose objective is to advocate for transparency and minimise corrupt practices with-in their lines of operation.
specific projects. By not revealing this information, the rights of the surrounding communities are trampled.
“We also advocate for governments to legislate reporting standards for countries up to project level.
“A good example is that of a British mining company that must report about specific projects completed, projected or still underway, not to simply state that they have projects in South Africa.
“The road shows are conducted throughout the country in each province so that South Africa becomes a signatory to Publish What You Pay.
The organisation is working in con-junction with the mining affected communities United in Action (MACUA).
South Africa is the latest member of the forty countries affiliated to the organisation.
Asked how the organisation wants to achieve its goals towards the realisation of transparency, Ms Kuvheya said that while companies remain rigid to disclose their terms of operations, like the mines, the thrust is to push government to enact laws that compel companies to disclose information around socioeconomic and environmental implications - especially in the mining sector.
This sector is not disclosing relevant information for the general public to know and hence communities around mining houses are duped of their deserved incentives derived from them.
“We want mining companies to publish documents regarding their specific projects. By not revealing this information, the rights of the sur-rounding communities are trampled.
“We also advocate for governments to legislate reporting standards for countries up to project level.
“A good example is that of a British mining company that must report about specific projects completed, projected or still underway, not to simply state that they have projects in South Africa.
“The road shows are conducted throughout the country in each province so that South Africa becomes a signatory to Publish What You Pay.
The organisation is working in con-junction with the mining affected communities United in Action (MACUA).

Numerous articles related to asbestos-related protests in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district have been churned out by this newspaper year in, year out without corresponding answers to the plight of the protestors.
The level of inertia from the outcry has necessitated the Kathu Gazette to consult relevant organisations dealing with the compensation of the asbestos ex-mineworkers under the Griqua Exploration and Finance Company (GEFCO) and African Chrysotile Asbestos (ACA).
This is simply trying to get to the understanding of the duel on the flip side of the protesting community. A well detailed document was availed for clarification by the Johannesburg based office dealing with the compensation process for the same claimants after a written questionnaire was submitted to it.
Without laying blame on individuals in the compensation process, the document revealed that all is well as long as an individual has followed due processes and found deserving to receive compensation.
Ex-mine workers who had been exposed to asbestos from qualifying operations and developed asbestos related diseases qualify to claim. Ex-miners without any asbestos related diseases do not qualify.
Also individuals who lived near or within the qualifying mines do qualify to claim if infected. Qualifying operations are the mines, mills and other operations owned by or associated with the Founders of the Asbestos Relief Trust. The founders are the companies that provided the compensation fund for the claimants.
The would-be-claimant must approach the Asbestos Relief Trust to obtain proof that he or she worked for the qualifying operations, mines or mills. The Trust Deed provides compensation for the following illnesses:
1.Asbestos dust disease (pneumoconiosis) with moderate lung function impairment.
2.Asbestos dust disease (pneumoconiosis) with severe lung function impairment.
3.Asbestos-related lung cancer.
4.Mesothelioma.
Having worked at the qualifying mines, the Asbestos Relief Trust pays for the medical examinations to establish whether or not you suffer from compensable asbestos related disease that include clinical examination, chest x-ray and lung function test.
Kuruman community can go to the Asbestos Interest Group for free assistance. Like any other institution, a verification process is needed to prove that you were a member or worker of the qualifying mines with all the medical reports obtained.
Applying for compensation, further examinations are conducted to determine whether or not you have a potential claim. Medical reports are
assessed by a panel of specialist doctors. If you have been found with a compensable asbestosis condition, your award is calculated and the claim processed for payment.
In a nutshell, the document clearly explains why the human rights advocate Richard Spoor ought to be exonerated from the ensuing allegations that he still holds the compensation money he justifiably facilitated for the ex-miners through his legal recourse.
The compensation fund is no longer under his jurisdiction or prudence, but directly managed by the trust mandated to identify deserving claimants as stipulated by the document. This is where the would-be claimants ought to draw distinct lines between the advocate and themselves.
Accurate information is needed to come to the closure regarding compensation processes to avoid false clashes among claimants, government and organisations regarding access to the fund.
A couple of splinter groups emerged and gave themselves full legitimacy when news trickled that a compensation fund for asbestos ex-mine workers had been procured.
Kgatelopele Asbestos Community is one of the organisations in hot pursuit of the compensation fund. The question is: Is the organisation well informed of the proper processes and the current manager(s) of the fund?

Kedisaletsi Syra Seupe from Magojaneng village in Kuruman has a lot to tell, as Tshipi è Ntle Manganese Mine has unearthed hidden valuables within her.
She is becoming a big name since the business empowerment skills training she attained sometime last year.
She had the idea, but it needed finality in its perfection to turn it into a saleable product. A home-based mother and spouse cum baker and confectioner, gifted in cake baking and a variety of baked foods that make many functions, anniversaries and weddings notable and memorable.
In her straight forward narrative she said that she started cooking very young in the family and that passion grew with age. She then thought of going commercial in 2013, but the going was not as easy as she en-visioned.
Cutting family budgetary money trying to up her dream, did not turn her aspirations into gold. “It was after the business training that I got from this mine in 2016 that removed the darker side in the pursuit of growing my business.
“Tshipi è Ntle, with the Kuriti

Discontent keeps on smouldering between Tau Mining workers and their employer.
Workers had to go en masse, firstly to the District Executive Mayor honourable Sofia Mosikatsi and then to the Department of Labour's Mr Bloem on May 9, 2017 pleading with them to come to their rescue over alleged UIF discrepancies.
This comes as a result of UIF con-ributions deducted from their salaries, but apparently these amounts do not reflect at the Department of Labour. 
Some of the employees with five and more years of service with the mining company, according to Mr
Joy Seikaneng the provincial AMCU Secretary, were not registered on time with the department while others were registered two to three years later.  He said that this was an indication that there was no audit by Kumba to his contractor to check for compliance.
Workers also alleged that there were fellow workers who used to work at the Mamatwan site who had  never been registered until they were transferred to the Kumba site.
The reasons that prompted the workers to go to Kuruman were two-pronged. Fellow workers wanted to determine whether or not their representatives had approached the
Department of Labour over the en-suing administrative disparities.
The manager in the Department of Labour, Mr Bloem, confirmed that the matter had been brought to his attention and he took it further to the provincial office for further verification by auditors.
Workers also claimed that they had approached the Joe Morolong and Ga-Segonyana mayors to assist in the matter, that they had agreed, but nothing had materialised out of them, hence they decided to consult with the district mayor who has re-quested them to give her ample time to take the matter further.
The manager in the Department of been some irregularities as there is a lack of records of UIF en-tries.   

Income generated by the mining indus-try rose from R393.4-billion in 2012 to R419.5-billion in 2015, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said.
Presenting the Mining Industry 2015 re-port on Wednesday 29 March 2017, Stats SA said the total income for the mining in-dustry had increased by 2.2% per annum.
Comparing 2012 and 2015, large increa-ses were reported for coal and lignite (R21.9-billion), manganese (R6.8-billion) and diamonds, including alluvial dia-monds (R6.4-billion).
However, large decreases were repor-ted for platinum group metal ore (R15.5-billion), iron ore (R7.4-billion) and gold and uranium ore (R3.3-billion).
Mpumalanga had the largest income from sales of goods in the mining industry in 2015 with R114.4-billion (or 28.8% of the industry total). The province with the second largest income from sales of goods was North West (R84.7-billion or 21.3%), noted the report.
This was followed by the Northern Cape (R69.5-billion or 17.5%), Limpopo (R45.3-billion or 11.4%) and Gauteng (R44.9-bil-lion or 11.3%).
The report, however, noted that total employment in the mining industry had de-clined.
“Total employment (mine employees, employees of subcontractors and employ-ees through labour brokers) in the mining industry declined from 538 000 in 2012 to 490 000 in 2015,” said the report.
This was a loss of 48 000 jobs.
The biggest losses in jobs were recor-ded in mining of gold and uranium ore.
In terms of mine employees, the North West province was still the largest con-tributor to persons working in the mining industry (133 000 or 37.8%). Sanews. gov.za

The Kathu Solar Park (KSP), which is under construction outside of Kathu, celebrated another milestone with the installation of the first Solar Collector Assemblies (SCAs) on 14 April 2017.
As opposed to photovoltaic units, the CSP plant harvests heat from the sun using mirrors, then that heat is projected on to horizontally positioned oil-filled tubes at the centre of the SCAs. The oil is used to transport the heat to make steam and electricity or is stored in massive batteries where the energy can be released in the evenings - when the power demand in South Africa is at its maximum.
The plant includes a 4.5 square kilometre solar field which is used to harvest the heat from the South Afri-can sun to produce electricity. The solar field will be filled with 12 000 SCAs - each of which is 6.8 metres wide, 13.2 metres long and sits 3.8
metres off the ground. The SCAs weigh in at 2600 kgs each. All together, the SCAs have a total mirror area of over 1.1-million square metres of mirror surface.
The plant which has been under construction since May of last year, is being constructed by Liciastar (Pty) Ltd - a consortium of companies SENER and Acciona - two large Spanish engineering, procuring and construction (EPC) contractors for KSP which is a consortium headed by the French renewable energy company ENGIE.
All the SCAs are assembled on site in a factory which has been purpose-built for this. The factory takes the glass mirrors, steel parts and the torque tubes (which are fabricated in Gauteng) and produces an SCA. The factory will eventually have the capability to produce over 100 SCAs per day, operating in two shifts.
The Kathu Solar Park is currently
employing 1400 persons for the construction phase and approximately 50% of them are from the local JTG community.
The Project Director of Construction and Engineering for KSP, Mark Janick, said “The installation of the mirrors at the site is another step forward for the project. We as the owner, are tremendously proud of all the work performed on the site to this point. “
This is a challenging project being executed under difficult conditions, but our team - especially the local workers - have risen to the challenge. We look forward to continued progress towards delivering this significant project and continued work with the local community to accomplish our shared goals.”
KSP will be in operation late next year and will supply enough power to power approximately 150 000 households.

In February last year, as Anglo announced a dramatic plan to sell more than half its mines, the company said it was looking to exit Kumba as part of a wider retreat from iron ore and coal. Since then, the company curtailed its di-vestment plan after a rally in the commodities it was seeking to exit, helped remove the pressure on its balance sheet.
Anglo is “happy to stick with” its iron-ore and export-.coal mines in South Africa, Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani said.

South32's Hotazel Manganese Mines (HMM) celebrated 95 employees who have worked for the company for up to 40 years.
An event to honour the long service of these dedicated and loyal employees recently took place at the Hotazel College.
All employees with uninterrupted service of
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years were awarded long service awards from the company.
During the event, Manganese SA Vice President Operations Lucas Msimanga congratulated the long service recipients and thanked their families for the contribution and efforts throughout the years.
“It should be noted that our contributions would not have been possible without the support and love from our families,” he said.
“Our people work in diverse roles and geographies and all have a part to play in contributing to the success of our company as individuals, teams and as whole operations and functions.
“We are working hard to build an inclusive workplace with a strong culture of care and accountability, where work is well-designed and we continuously improve and learn. Nothing is more important than our people going home safe and well every day,” he said.
The longest serving employee, celebrating 40 years with South32 is Nkosivumile Matwa. He began his career as a digger and, in those days, when the company was still known as Lohatla, they used shovels and wheelbarrows to mine. Things have certainly progressed since then.
Mr. Matwa said “It feels really good and one thing I can say, is that South32 is the best company to work for. I have seen all these companies come and go, managers come and go, but I have never seen a company that respects its employees as much as South32.”
In his closing remarks at the ceremony, Mr. Msimanga said “On behalf of the long-serving employees, I want to thank their families for the support, love and "scuff-tings"(an informal local word used to describe lunchboxes), that keep us going every day.” South32 communication

One of the giant mines in the region that produces world class manganese ore, South32, held a fun-filled family day at Mamatwan-based operations site in Hotazel on February 25, 2017. A staggered programme that had been de-signed to accommodate workers on duty visited by their families at the mine on three consecutive Saturdays, was both a delight and an eye opener for the workers' families that included children, spouses, sisters, brothers, cousins etc.
This was intrinsically meant to acquaint family members with what really happens at the mine and to give them a taste of what their kin and kith are subjected to when they routinely leave their cozy homes to report  for duty. There was a lot of entertainment for the well attended function, before a specialised tour of the mine was conducted.
Prior to the tour, mine officials that included Media Manager Africa Region, Patrick Wadula, had a preliminary session with their highly esteemed visitors that dwelt on safety measures - the nerve centre of the stringent statutory mining requirement in the mining fraternity. As families arrived at the operation sites, guided by officials, a comprehensive brief-ing was given on how the mine extracts the precious mineral through its open cast method, the processing, grading and its final means of departure from site to the intended foreign markets. Asked about the nerve-chilling uncertain-ty in the demand of the mineral that characterised retrenchments in the region some 18 to 20 months ago, the Operations Manager of the South32 Mamatwan mine, Barry Bezuidenhout, said that operations are almost at their optimum - a direct affirmative that the price of the mineral and demand have significantly improved, thereby instilling investor confidence in the sector, stability in the retention of the labour force and an upsurge in the economic in-dex.

Aveng Moolmans is one of the largest surface mining contractors in Africa. 
Moolmans offer a complete surface mining capability in both hard and soft rock environments.
The company has recently stretched out its helping hand to the needy Gamaraga High School in Deben. The school hall has been without a ceiling for a couple of months, which is suspected to have been caused by strong winds.
Mrs Lollie Van Niekerk, a teacher at Gamagara High School, then approached Aveng Moolmans to help the school with the ceiling, paint and la-bour.
As part of the company’s so-cial responsibility, Moolmans
did not hesitate to promptly offer assistance to the school.
General Manager at Mool-mans, Stephan Griessel, said it is the company’s duty to make sure it ploughs back to the community. It was not a first time initiative to the school. Last year, Moolmans donated gar-bage bins to keep the school neat and tidy.
“We are very proud of what Mr Griessel and his team have done for the school. We are facing terrible financial hiccups. We cannot afford a lot of stuff for  our school” said Mrs Van Niekerk.
It is anticipated that Aveng Moolmans will again visit the school to aid with the ablution facilities which are in a poor condition.

Tshipi é Ntle has taken emphatic strides to ensure that the brilliant but resource-deprived learners can be brought on board in furthering their educational pursuits. This comes after the manganese producing mine introduced a bursary scheme for such learners since 2012 and seven students graduated in 2016 at various local universities. The appetite to churn out more graduates remains an unshaken commitment as the mine has identified another group of seven students within the district. Among the seven is Keotsepile Innocent Snyman (19) from Magwagwe village in the Joe Morolong local municipality. The young and intelligent student left a week ago for the University of the Western Cape to pursue applied geology. He performed exceptionally well at his matric results enabling him to qualify for a bachelor’s degree study. Keotsepile is exalted by the initiative that the mine introduced and directly so, where he becomes a beneficiary through par excellence. In a very brief interview with the mine’s socio-economic development and stakeholder engagement manager, Mr Bheki Mdakane said that the criteria is very transparent to identify learners who are astute but economically disadvantaged. The mine takes the initiative by visiting schools or an individual school authority approaches the mine, then starts the vetting process so that deserving learners access the opportunity that the mine offers. “The bursary scheme covers everything that includes tuition, accommodation, books with sustaining monthly stipends to cushion the students. We are obliged as a mine to look beyond the scope of mere operations. In reciprocity locals have to be empowered in both spheres of self development where education, employment and entrepreneurship ought to be prioritised. We are a family in the district and so we need not isolate ourselves from community needs”, he concluded.

 

 

Keotshepile Innocent Snyman of Magwagwe village University-bound  courtesy of Tshipi é Ntle Mine.       

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