PRESS STATEMENT | Former mine workers face eviction: Seriti Coal Mine vs Kriel community

Date: 26/10/2021

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) is in the Middelburg High Court today, representing a largely retired or otherwise unemployed former employees of Anglo American Platinum Mine and also of Seriti Coal Mine in Kriel Mpumalanga, against an eviction that threatens to render 56 families homeless.

Anglo American originally opted to provide housing for those working on this mine for a range of operational reasons, including to limit costs. In the hope of creating a better for themselves, these workers uprooted their families and left their homes to work and live at the mine.

In April 2017, the mine was sold to Seriti and the houses were transferred to Seriti as well, the Houses are owned by Eskom but rented to the mine. Seriti now seek to evict these families. The former mine workers and their loved ones will be force to leave the area they have called home for decades, and as a results be rendered homeless.

Anglo American originally obtained an order to evict the mine workers in 2015, which was later set aside on appeal in the Pretoria High Court, after LHR intervened. The new owners of the mine, Seriti Coal Mine, now seek to evict the former mine workers again. The 56 mine workers and their families again are facing eviction from the houses which they have resided in for about four decades. It is clear from this matter like any other matters that mining companies has higher obligation than other private companies towards the employees and housing related issues.

“ We are concerned that this is another example of the continued exploitative practices of mining companies that value profit over the dignity of human being”, said Louise du Plessis, LHR’s Land and Housing Programme Manager.

The matter is being heard before the Middleburg High Court, Mpumalanga, on 26 October 2021.

Support for this case was generously provided by the Open Society Foundation.

For further information, please contact:

Louise Du Plessis, Lawyers for Human Rights,

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