Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe's press conference was interrupted on Tuesday by community activists complaining he hadn't yet consulted them on amending the proposed third Mining Charter. Mantashe responded in typical Uncle Gweezy fashion. By GREG NICOLSON.
Members of Mining Affected Communities in Action (Macuwa) stood at the back of Gwede Mantashe's press conference in Pretoria on Tuesday morning bearing a banner reading: "Nothing about us without us." Sandile Nombeni, from a community mining group in Ekurhuleni, put up his hand when the minister had finished with questions from the media.
"You've never talked about the mining impact in communities... There are so many community members who are dying from mining in South Africa. You've never talked about that," he told Mantashe.
Community groups like Macuwa were incensed after Mantashe excluded them from discussions this weekend on the Mining Charter with unions and company associations, despite a Pretoria High Court ruling in February compelling the department of mineral resources to include them in the discussions.
Former minister Mosebenzi Zwane tabled the third Mining Charter last year. The Chamber of Mines went to court to challenge the document, claiming they had not been adequately consulted and the Charter placed onerous burdens...