PRESS STATEMENT | LHR to Challenge Eviction of Former Mine Workers by Seriti Coal

Date: 25/05/2021

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) is in the Middleburg High Court today, defending a group of retired mineworkers who previously worked at a former Anglo American Platinum Mine in Kriel, Mpumalanga, against an eviction that threatens to render 56 families 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 mine workers again. The 56 mine workers and their families again facing eviction have resided in the houses at issue for between 10 years and four decades.

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 life for themselves, these workers uprooted their families and left their homes to work and live at the mine.

In April 2017, the mine and houses were sold to Seriti, which now also seeks to evict these families. The mine workers and their loved ones will be forced to leave the area they have called home for decades, and as a result be rendered homeless.

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

The matter is being heard before the Middleburg High Court, Mpumalanga, on 25 May 2021.

For further information, please contact:

Louise Du Plessis

Head of LHR Land and Housing Programme


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