Protests outside De Beers’ Venetia mine block roads

25th April 2016 By: African News Agency

BLOUBERG – Residents of Blouberg and former employees of Venetia Mine, owned by De Beers, on Monday protested outside the open pit mine demanding that workers be given shares in the company.

The protesters, who said they want to discuss with mine management issues relating to “Ponagalo shares and trust funds”, blocked roads in Alldays, Limpopo, that lead to the mine.

“Our view and believe is that issues affecting workers should be treated as a priority,” said community leader Dan Sematla Sematla.

He said the mine promised workers shares when the Ponagalo shares was conceived.

“Shares and trust funds have been long overdue.”

Sematla said they were “fighting for their rights” in terms of mining charter and Social Labour Plan of the mine to develop and empower local communities.

He said the only benefit the community received was “merely toys donated to local early childhood centres”.

Sematla said the recent consultation by mine bosses of Venetia Mine was part of their “tactics” to persuade the department of mineral resources to “grant and extend their licence”.

He said the mine failed to ensure that its multinational suppliers contribute towards social-economic development of local communities.

Sematla said the department must work “as outlined” in the mining charter.

Meanwhile South African National Parks warned tourists traveling to Mapungubwe World Heritage side to connect to the park via Musina.

The department could not be immediately reached for comment.