The civil rights organisation AfriForum’s Naboomspruit branch successfully opposed the relocation of a mining community near Naboomspruit in cooperation with other role players in die community. The action was launched in April 2014 when the Rustenburg Platinum Mine brought an application to relocate the community with the aim of enlarging the mining area.
AfriForum submitted that the Lim 368 Local Municipality did not have sufficient infrastructure and resources to provide the community with the necessary services. Service like water and electricity, and infrastructure like roads would not have been provided to the new community in a sustainable manner. The application would also have seen people from a traditional township being relocated to an established commercial farming area. Farmers in the vicinity would have been negatively influenced by the relocation.
Phillip van Staden, Chairperson of AfriForum’s Naboomspruit branch is of the opinion that the relocation of the community to the Lim 368 area would have had a negative impact on the town. “The Municipality is already struggling to address the existing needs of the town and community. It is very unlikely that an already struggling municipality would have been able to provide another community with sustainable services.”
According to Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Limpopo, this is precisely the role which a civil rights watchdog should fulfil. “If the citizenry did not act against this, the mine would have plunged the Municipality in even more debt.”
The case was withdrawn on 24 January by PlanCentre, who represented the mine with the application.