PRESS STATEMENT | Mining Host Communities in Court to Challenge Mining Charter

Date: 04/05/2021

This week, the Pretoria High Court is hearing a review of the 2018 Mining Charter, to which a number of individual communities and mining community networks were joined pursuant to a High Court order last year.

LHR represents the communities of Bakgatla Ba Sefikile and Babina Phuthi Ba Ga-Makola, two large mining host communities in the matter, whose lived experiences are representative of many similarly-situated communities across the country.

The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 requires that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy must develop and publish a Mining Charter to give effect to certain of the Act’s objectives. These include expanding opportunities for communities to participate in the mining industry and making certain that mining right holders contribute towards the socio-economic development of the areas in which they operate.

The Mining Charter should thus be a critical tool at the state’s disposal to help ensure that mining affected communities see real benefit from the mining that occurs on and around their land.

In practice, however, host communities rarely see these benefits, despite suffering the primary negative burdens of such mining operations.  The Bakgatla Ba Sefikile and Babina Phuthi Ba Ga-Makola communities will argue today that the Charter does not sufficiently address the issue of mining community development or properly address the protection of land rights of mine hosting communities, in order to remedy this reality.

They will argue that this is in part due to the fact that the concerns raised by mine hosting communities – some of the poorest, and most vulnerable in the country – were not properly considered in the drafting the 2018 Charter, and that the community consultation process was flawed.  This is despite an historic victory secured in 2018, in which the High Court declared mining communities to be key stakeholders who must be consulted on the laws and policies that impact their lives.

For more information, please contact:

Louise Du Plessis, Head of the LHR Land and Housing Programme

Tel: 012 320 2943

LHR is grateful for the support of the Raith Foundation for this matter and our work in the extractives sector.


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