The Pilanesberg Platinum Mine (PPM) on June 11 announced that it had reached an agreement with the Lesetlheng community, enabling it to start mining on the Wilgespruit farm, in Gauteng, within the next few months.
With its mining rights in place, PPM in 2014 brought an application to evict certain members of the community that did not accept resettlement as contemplated in a mine plan.
The plan had been agreed with the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Tribal Authority and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.
Thereafter, the Mafikeng High Court granted an interdict against PPM, preventing it from continuing with mining operations on the Wilgespruit farm.
Following subsequent successful appeals by PPM in both the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Constitutional Court in October 2018, nonetheless, overturned the High Court order that had been awarded to PPM to evict the community members from the farm.
The Constitutional Court ordered that mines can no longer rely solely on their mining right to displace a person or community from their land to exercise the mining right. The court then directed PPM and the Lesetlheng community to negotiate a settlement.
The settlement that has been reached now provides for significant monetary compensation to resettle community members from the Wilgespruit farm.
PPM states that the settlement agreement also includes a transparent and fair procurement model and a progressive social and labour plan.
PPM reports that the community has expressed their satisfaction with opportunities that will be created for them.