Community members march to Glencore, Goedgevonden Mine

Community members of Ogies and Phola put their foot down and said enough was enough. The mob marched to Glencore, Goedgevonden Mine on Friday afternoon, February 2 to hand over a memorandum.


The community members of Ogies and Phola are marching to Glencore, Goedgevonden Mine on Friday, February 2.

The march began in the morning at Ogies where community members sang and marched up until their final destination. The event had police and traffic officials on board, ensuring that participants were safe on the road. The public had placards with words such as #GGVmustFall #OosMustFall.

The community has been at logger heads with the mine for a long time now. As a result of many dissatisfactory engagements with some representatives of the mine, they took this step.


On Friday, February 2 community members of Phola and Ogies marched to Glencore, Goedgevonden Mine.

Some of the demands written are:

1) Inadequate and unfair economic exclusion of the hosting community and its residents in the continued mining activities of the mine.

2) Families relocated to Makause who still do not have water and electricity supply.

3) Compensation for forced removals and the relocation of graves without following traditional customs.

4) The mine and all its major contractors to demonstrate their local employment and skills development statistics, local Small Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMME’s) that they are developing and are currently contracted directly with the mine or any of its major contractors. Show their local socio economic development initiatives.

5) Demand that all criminal charges and the court interdict against any of their leaders resulting from their many attempts to raise their concerns be immediately withdrawn.

6) Families relocated in order to allow for mining operations to take place be compensated and collectively explore a way in which they can benefit directly in the continued mining activities.

One of the leaders who has charges against him, Joseph Zikhali eluded to the memorandum explaining in detail the importance of the document to have positive feedback.

Zikhali mentioned that he wants the community of Ogies and Phola to be the first group of people that benefit from the mining activities.

“Charity must begin at home before the mine can look elsewhere. I want the charges against me to be dropped as I am not a criminal I am simply fighting for our rights. Until such time where people will be employed, compensated and benefit from the mine. We will not rest,” emphasised Zikhali.

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The memorandum was accepted and signed by Mr Oos van der Merwe from Glencore, Goedgevonden Mine.


A memorandum was handed over to Glencore, Goedgevonden Mine on Friday, February 2.

In response to the questionnaire sent, Emalahleni Local Municipality said permission was granted from the council and the Department of Health for graves to be relocated, this comes after both parties got consent from family members to do so.
Shamiela Letsoalo from Glencore confirmed that the mine did receive the memorandum.

On behalf of the mine Letsoaloo said the company views the demands in serious light, and will respond through the various established community platforms.


Joseph Zikhali signing the memorandum as Oos van der Merwe from Glencore, Goedgevonden Mine looks on.

“We are committed to the progress of the communities surrounding our operations, and as such we acknowledge any complaints we receive. We make every effort to address complaints, where they are applicable. As a responsible global operator, we are committed to the wellbeing of our people, our host communities and to respect the natural environment.

We employ 1,394 employees and contractors at Goedgevonden Mine with the majority of employees being from the surrounding communities. We established an enterprise development portal, which we are using as a catalyst to capture qualifying local businesses on our procurement system, and to link these local businesses with available procurement opportunities at Goedgevonden and our other operations. To date, we have contracted a number of qualifying local suppliers as suppliers to our business.

We have followed and continue to follow an extensive consultation process with impacted families and relevant stakeholders, in relation to grave relocations. This process is in line with Glencore’s Corporate Practice which encompasses our company values, code of conduct and policies, and aligns with the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standard on Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement.

We are cognisant that we are dealing with families and their homes, and are committed to handling matters of relocation with empathy and sensitivity whilst considering our operational requirements as a responsible corporate citizen. Our relocation process have included new homes for impacted families, participation in skills development programmes for impacted family members and employment where possible for qualifying community members. These efforts have been implemented to advance the quality of life of our resettled communities,”.

The community expects nothing else but a positive response within seven days of the receipt of the memorandum of demands otherwise they will be forced to take other ways of raising their concerns.

The Department of Mineral Resources did not reply by the time of going to print.

  AUTHOR
Fanisile Nkuna
JOURNALIST/PHOTOGRAPHER

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