SA Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi discusses protests in Steelpoort

By Admin
The province of Limpopo is a major asset in the mining industry, home to one of the largest platinum reserves in South Africa, one of the worlds largest...

The province of Limpopo is a major asset in the mining industry, home to one of the largest platinum reserves in South Africa, one of the world’s largest diamond mines, and a crucial source of South Africa’s coal resources. It is also currently home to community unrest, strikes, and violent protests. To address this unrest, South Africa’s Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi traveled to the mining town of Steelpoort in Limpopo’s Sekhukhune District Municipality to discuss these issues and make an attempt to quell growing tensions.

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According to reports, protests in Steelpoort have revolved around benefits that residents were promised to receive years ago as reciprocation for companies like Anglo American and Xstrata being awarded mining rights within the municipality. These reports indicate that those benefits include a “multimillion rand payment” to the community—instead, the area has seen continued unemployment.

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As Eyewitness News reports, Ramatlhodi met with community and mining officials to discuss these issues and the formation of a task force, which could work to improve skills and qualify able community members in the region for the type of work needed at these mines. The involved mining companies also promised to make 200 new jobs available for local workers in the Limpopo region:

Mineral resources spokesperson Phuti Mabelebele said, “The 200 jobs stem from vacancies that existed in the mines; and vacancies are going to be filled now. The community’s concern is that there is a need for a centralised job centre to be established so recruitment is fair and transparent.” 


While working toward a resolution, Ramatlhodi has also called for peace in Steelpoort, appealing for workers and community members to refrain from resorting to violence in their protests. 

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