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So. Africa: In displacement for Anglo Platinum's Twickenham mine, communities did not give informed consent, company has not met its commitments, says NGO report

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Company response
26 November 2016

Anglo American Platinum response to Bench Marks Foundation report

Author: Anglo American Platinum

...[We] have considered and taken on board many of the issues raised, and are seeking to address them where this is feasible... [Both] Anglo American Platinum as a whole and the Twickenham Project specifically, have put substantial effort into engaging with the communities and into ensuring that the communities which are host to our operations also see concrete benefits from our presence... Communities that were relocated were recipients of a range of financial compensation, substantive replacement (of land and property) and will soon also be beneficiaries of a community trust intended to provide funding for long-term community development projects... 

Although Anglo American Platinum and Twickenham have made many attempts to formalise our engagements with the communities...we have encountered substantial challenges. These are mainly as a result of conflicts within and between communities – and result in our needing to meet with multipleinterest groups, often with opposing priorities and demands...

With the benefit of hindsight, the Company is fully aware that there are areas of the resettlement that would have been handled differently if they were to be undertaken today. More recent studies...have highlighted where adjustments need to be made to the benefit future resettlement planning and implementation. These recommendations have been taken on board by the Company

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Article
1 November 2016

Residents rue relocation - Mining giant is blamed

Author: Zoë Mahopo, Sowetan (So. Africa)

Village residents gave up their ancestral homes to make way for major mining operations, but now, 14 years after their relocation, live in houses built on land they do not own... [A] recent report by...Bench Marks Foundation...draws a bleak picture of how life turned miserable for the community of Magobading near Burgersfort in Limpopo after they were moved to make way for Anglo Platinum mining operations... The report stated that the community lost adequate water access, and their arable and grazing land, in exchange for poor compensation while their livelihoods were negatively impacted on... Other key findings were that the company had no regard for the community’s heritage and that there was no evidence of an environmental impact assessment. William Mahlaokoana, 33, a resident of Magobading, said life was never the same after his family was moved. “We expected a better life but nothing good has come out of the relocation.”... Another resident, Ronny Tshehlakgolo, said families were struggling to survive because they cannot plough or keep livestock like before.

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Report
24 October 2016

Life Before and During Mining: The relocation and struggles of the Magobading Community, Limpopo

Author: Bench Marks Foundation (So. Africa)

This report emanates from the approach in 2007 to the Bench Marks Foundation by people relocated from the Maotsi, Magobagobe and Botshabelo communities... They requested assistance so that they could effectively engage with the mining corporation, Anglo American Platinum, and the government over the relocation process, its execution and ongoing relationship regarding their grievances with Anglo Platinum..

The following are key findings from the study...

The community consented to the original relocation, but did not do so from a properly informed perspective. They did not understand the consequences of the relocation and the impact it would have on their lives...

The community is of the view that the initial process of consultation was inconsistent. Through their protests and actions, they have forced the mining corporation into...engagement. However, the lack of respect for effective and meaningful consultation...has been a source of frustration for both the community and the mining corporation...

The mining corporation employed subcontractors who gave scant respect to the culture and heritage of the community...

Disruption of the community’s self-sustaining economy... Community without deeds of ownership of land or houses... No evidence of environmental impact assessment or water license

[Report makes:

Recommendations to Anglo American Platinum on: Land for grazing and cultivation; title deeds to stands; access to potable household water and water for agricultural purposes; religious and spiritual needs of the community; compliance with environmental impact assessments and environmental management plans.

Recommendations for legal & constitutional reform in South Africa

Recommendations to civil society, the chamber of mines and mining corporations in general on: development of a community perception index; national grievance mechanism; central mine-affected community fund; civil society and community collaboration]

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