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COSATU Today  |  Memorandum

Memorandum to Tharisa minerals, Department of Land Affairs and Rural Development, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Rustenburg Local municipality

16 April 2014

In May 2011 the community of Mmaditlhokwe was relocated from the area where they have lived for many years. This relocation was no different from the old apartheid relocation where the bourgeoisie would identify a mineral rich area and the occupants of that land are forced to relocate, irrespective of their will and interests.

The Freedom Charter as adopted at the congress of the people in 1955 said that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. And this has found an expression in the country’s constitution which allows all citizens of the republic to stay in any area they want to stay despite the richness of this area.

The relocation of the people of Mmaditlhokwe was one way or the other of undermining this resolution of the Freedom Charter and the constitution of our country which is the supreme law.

They have been relocated from the area where they have lived for many years and there was no proper arrangements made to make sure that where they are moved to is better or in the same standard as where they were staying. This in our view is undermining the people of Mmaditlhokwe and their rights have been violated.

Tharisa continues to act in the same manner as the old apartheid regime had acted by dividing the people of Mmaditlhokwe and buying their leadership by giving them small benefits in order for them to sell their community.

Tharisa continues to pay bribes to those who are in power and they continue to fuel lies about the municipality and the government while they know that they are the ones who are on the wrong side of the law. In relocating the people of Mmaditlhokwe Tharisa has followed no law in terms of the resettlements laws.
There are no services like water, sanitation, electricity and roads in the area where Tharisa have relocated the people and this cannot be accepted in the new democracy.

Tharisa has undermined all attempts of the community to address their concern with them; hence the community had no option but to come to COSATU and the ANC led alliance in order for them to raise their concerns.

Tharisa has no commitment to rebuild the community of Mmaditlhokwe which we believe is their social responsibility, as they are the ones who have relocated them and they are the ones who are mining in the land they had occupied before.

The people of Mmaditlhokwe have lost the right to reconnect with their ancestors as they are not able to visit the graves which are still in the area where the mine is, and we are informed that there is a program to relocate the graves without following the proper traditional channels and due respect given to those who have passed away. We are also informed that some graves are already damaged by the mine.

We demand the following:
1. Tharisa must stop the process of relocation of the graves with immediate effect and proper channels in terms of rituals must be followed when that process is initiated and Tharisa must carry the cost of such rituals.
2. The investigation of the damaged graves and the rebuilding of those graves after the investigation has been concluded.
3. Tharisa must provide all the basic service to Mmaditlhokwe and make sure that those services are maintained in good running conditions.
4. Tharisa must build proper houses for the people of Mmaditlhokwe.
5. Tharisa must prioritise the community of Mmaditlhokwe in terms of jobs and skills development and they must open learnership programs for the youth of Mmaditlhokwe.
6. The Departments of Cooperative Governance and Land Affairs and the Rustenburg local municipality must make sure that Tharisa meets its obligations of providing good services to the people of Mmaditlhokwe.
7. The council of the Rustenburg local municipality must investigate the ward councillor whom we are informed that he works with the management of Tharisa to exploit the people of Mmaditlhokwe.

We demand a full detailed response to our memorandum within seven calendar days