FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : ROODEPOORT COMMUNITIES AGAINST MINING DRUMMING UP SUPPORT
Date : 21 May 2018
The Roodepoort Communities Against Mining Campaign (CAM) is drumming up support in its bid to oppose open cast mining in the mining rights application of the Australian Mining Company West Wits next to the Residential Areas of Roodepoort that includes Florida, Hamberg, Georginia South, Cresswell Park, Fleurhofdale, Fleurhof, Meadowlands, Soweto, Matholesville, Goudrand, as well as the Roodepoort CBD and Commercial and Industrial areas next to the rights description. The concerned area includes places of worship like mosques and churches as well as schools.
CAM met last Thursday and invited head researcher of the Bench Marks Foundation to talk about the impact of such mining on the area. SLR Consulting for West Wits Mining MLI (Proprietary) Limited has in the meantime released their Basic Assessment Report (BAR) & Scoping Report (SR) or Environmental Impact Report (EIR). CAM is now in the process of getting a scientific team to assist in studying these documents. These reports are obviously written from the perception of the mining group and their investors. Now CAM wants a study of the same documents from the perception of the concerned residents.
The Communities are meticulous in their approach towards this project as the negatives of mining in South Africa and elsewhere in the world totally outweighs the positives for the communities. The biggest challenge is the rehabilitation of the areas afterwards as this does not happen, because government is supposed to fix the broken land.
CAM was joined by Lawyers for Human Rights and South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) who pledged their support for the Roodepoort Communities Against Mining. CAM is not just picking up speed with support from scientific and mining specialist activists, but more and more communities join the campaign. Representatives from Fleurhof, Feurhofdale, Soweto and Goudrand joined the action and Matholesville and Riverlea also joining the mass movement. CAM has started with door to door campaigns and street corner meetings.
They are not taking this lying down. If you need more info and want to join the mass action against mining, send your detail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by the Georginia South Residents Forum Media on behalf of Communities Against Maining.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : United Front of Roodepoort Residents Forums Against West Wits Mining Project Say their Say in no Uncertain Terms
Date : 7 May 2018
The United Front of Roodepoort Residents Forums Against West Wits Mining Project hereby state that we represent the communities (domestic, industrial and economic sectors) of Roodepoort, which includes the greater Florida – Fleurhof, Florida Park, Florida Lake, Georginia, Hamberg, Cresswell Park, Roodepoort CBD, Witpoortjie, Bramfischerville and Dobsonville, which will be directly impacted by West Wits Mining Project. We are currently still reaching out to Riverlea and other adjacent communities alongside Main Reef Road.
As we have said before, this community has never been challenged by this subject as such, nor the significant magnitude and consequence it holds to this already fragile community who are left in this state by the abandoned mining projects of yesteryear. This is happening on the threshold of our biggest personal investments which is our homes, families and businesses. The most studies available are done by those institutions who promote gold mining, and not by those communities that are opposed to it. Our research is ongoing.
We would like to respond on your two questions as follows.
- We are seriously concerned about the consultative process by West Wits Mining Limited with the communities and business of the area up to this point.
- We are also concerned about the way the Prospecting Rights changed hands from DRD Gold in 2006 to Mintails SA Soweto Cluster and now to West Wits Mining. We understand that this prospecting right was renewed until 2019
- Our health and safety is an obvious concern because of the expected chemical negatives and radiation to mention just
- a few.
- There will be serious traffic congestions during the time of mining as Main Reef, Albertina Sisulu and Ontdekkers Roads are the three lifelines for daily transportation
- Our electricity infrastructure is already under immense pressure as Joburg City is running a reported electrical infrastructure maintenance backlog of approximately R19 billion, which includes replacement of major parts and even total replacement of substations. How is it even thinkable to put more pressure on such a vulnerable network.
- Joburg City also reports regularly on the increasing pressure on the current fresh water supply from Joburg Water to households and industry. We refer to the ever increasing housing developments on the Westrand from Soweto to Midrand. Unfortunately City is suffocating under the explosion of water needs. A mine that relies heavy on constant water supply will naturally impact on our neighbourhood and settled infrastructure.
- We cannot even start to imagine a mine next to Gauteng Diary, Bread distribution plant as well as a big Food Flavouring and Food Colouring plant.
- Mining will change the Security and Safety Profile of our Area. The area is shared by Florida and Roodepoort Police Offices. We have up to a two hour waiting time for SAPS Reaction if we report on an incident at this stage. The Police resources are under pressure as it is, it is therefore a no-brainer to assume the pressure on this aspect.
- Impact on property rights and property values of the residents. Mining, as we know for a fact, will impact on the property value of home owner as well as business
- Underground gas and fuel lines runs along Main Reef Road, well within the boundaries of the proposed mining rights.
- This is a major disaster risk for people and businesses along the underground fuel lines.
- The impact on the environment is undeniably a big concern as the rehabilitation projects in SA gold mining is reported on in studies as non-existent.
- We also cannot imagine the noise levels and the impact on life here when the mine is in operation 24 hours a day.
- We have at least three dams (natural water reservoirs in the floodplain leading into Forida Dam, including Hamberg and Princess Dam), as well as the Hammerkop Bird Sanctuary. These natural assets became part of our heritage and cultural life, hosting the fauna and flora that warrants our protection. This area forms part of the National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Area.
- We have not been informed on the State’s commitment to land rehabilitation plans and projects on current deserted mining projects as well as mining company’s its decommissioning and closure projects.
- As a united front of communities we call into reference our rights as enshrined in Chapter 2 paragraphs 24 and 25 of Bill of Rights of the South African Constitution of 8 May 1996 and amended on 11 October 1996 by the Constitutional Assembly.
As a representative Forum we are still in a process of collecting the necessary data and legal references to protect ourselves, our community and environment of harmful mining activity and its effects. We will not stop until we achieve our goal, which is to cease mining in our residential area.
Issued by the Georginia South Residents Forum Media on behalf of United Front of Roodepoort Residents Forums Against West Wits Mining Project.