People living in communities in mining towns across the country say the government has failed to protect them and is instead allowing mining companies to run the country.
“The mining company and the local municipality make empty promises to the people,” Kleinbooi Mahlangu told News24 on Wednesday. “They tell the community they will get employment and skills once the mine starts. But after [it starts operating], nothing like that happens. They don’t fulfil their promises.”
Mahlangu, who is a member of the Wonderfontein Community Association in Mpumalanga, was speaking on the sidelines of national hearings by the SA Human Rights Commission themed “the socio-economic challenges of mining-affected communities in the country”.
He said the mines operating in the area forced families to relocate to areas which would only make their lives difficult. “They move people from the place where they get suitable water and electricity to a place that does not have enough water or electricity.” Mahlangu said he felt the government was not fighting for the rights of its people.
“The mining companies are ruling the country,” he said.
“We have got a Constitution to rule the country, but it seems that Constitution doesn’t have teeth to bite with because the mining companies are ruling the country.
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