While the Office of the Premier's ultimate goal in hosting a Mi-ning Indaba in Kuruman on No-vember 16, 2017 was multi-pronged in confronting challenges facing communi-ties around the mining houses, it was also an endeavour to restore sanity and improve transparency on behalf of the mines and the Premier's Office.
Despite the commendable effort of the Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas's office, the event was either criticised or shot down by the uncharacteristic pro-testing community forums, labelling it as a non-event. They also expected to be recognised and given the platform to vent out their interminable demands. After initially being refused entry into the main hall, the groups assembled as a united common front to ensure that their concerns would be heard.
As they were eventually permitted to enter the hall, they behaved like a bull in a China shop. They disrupted the pro-ceedings momentarily before order was restored.
The forums spelt out their concerns about the mines giving them deaf ears and unflinchingly declared that a new wave of protests will be on the cards.
They said that while the dodgy mines are in reality only donating “infinitesimal amounts” to the communities in their efforts to fulfil their social labour plans, the level of poverty is meteoric and re-mains on an upward trend.
Responding to the Kathu Gazette out-side the Thabo Moorosi multi-purpose centre, on why they should not resort to protests, they said that protests are the language mines better understand in or-der to create opportunities for dialogue that will hopefully lead to the unleashing of the desired results.
This time, the groups categorically stated that their stand-off is projected to leave an indelible mark so that the loss incurred through lack of operations or another could be a good comparison between obliging to the clarion call and rubbishing their perennial appeals.
Asked to give the precise expectations from the mines, the group mentioned a plethora of demands and assumed imperfections that the mines ought to fulfil and correct. Top on the list are employment opportunities, business op-portunities and infra-structural develop-ment in the various villages of the region.
All community organisations dealing with the mining issues have joined hands with resident forums to ensure there are commitment and determination by the mines.
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