WEJF at SANAMI

Monye (left) and Mocheko (right) at the gathering

The Waterberg Environmental Justice Forum (WEJF) attended the South African National Alternative Mining Indaba (SANAMI) in Johannesburg.
SANAMI kick-started on Sunday 21 January and its participants included organisations from communities that are affected by mining.
The representatives include WEJF Chairperson in Lephalale, Andries Mocheko, and the Coordinator, Glen Monye from Mokopane. They say SANAMI is in its second year with the main agenda to address the issues different communities face as a result of mining projects.
Monye says they look at the relationship between mining companies, the community and government.
“We want to participate and engage on the discussions between the mining industry and government regarding policies like the Mining Charter and the National Petroleum Resources Development Act among others.
As mining communities we are hardly consulted in matters that directly affect us,” says Monye.
SABANI was formed as a direct result of the annual Mining Indaba, which runs every second week of February. The Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) aims to challenge the main Mining Indaba, thus they gather nearby with placards.
Monye says the ministers in the mining Indaba invite investors under the pretence that the communities where mining activities take place have been consulted. On the last day they picket outside before handing over their memorandum to investors to notify them that decisions taken during the event do not represent them.
He says it is important for communities to be part of the decision making process, to be beneficiaries and there is a need to hold mining companies accountable, hence they have campaigns like “publish what you pay”.
Publish what you pay refers to their aspirations to have mining companies obligated to publish all their profits and what they pay to government as well as the corporate social investment programmes aimed at the community.
Monye says through their sister NGOs and workshops they have managed to spread their message to communities about the environmental hazards they face due to mining activities and representatives that have not been honest with them.
The SANAMI gathering ended on Tuesday 23 January and Monye says they have agreed to travel to Cape Town with the family members of miners who fell into mine holes, including the three miners whose bodies have not been retrieved from Lily mine in more than two years.

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