SACBC Justice and Peace participated in the meeting for the civil society coalition on the Minerals Petroleum Resources Development Act. Below is the press release from the meeting.

Press release  -19 March 2015

The Civil Soci­ety Coali­tion on the Min­er­als Petro­leum Resources Devel­op­ment Act (MPRDA) will hold a national meet­ing of min­ing affected com­mu­ni­ties and civil soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions from 2426 March 2015 in Berea, Johan­nes­burg.

The objec­tive of the meet­ing is to develop a strat­egy to ensure that com­mu­nity and envi­ron­men­tal con­cerns are included in theMPRDA, when it is signed into law.

Over 60 com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all nine provinces of South Africa will spend 2 days unpack­ing the cur­rent Bill and devel­op­ing their own responses, actions and demands to be pre­sented dur­ing the leg­isla­tive process that is expected to unfold as a result of the Bill hav­ing been referred back to Par­lia­ment.

The third day of the National Meet­ing will include all the civil soci­ety coali­tion mem­bers who will seek to agree on a joint strat­egy to impact the MPRDA Bill and to agree on a man­date for dis­cus­sions with the Cham­ber of Mines, Gov­ern­ment and Organ­ised Labour at a pro­posed Com­mu­nity Min­ing Lek­gotla, which will be hosted by the Cham­ber of Mines in April 2015.

The Cham­ber of Mines has approached Min­ing Affected Com­mu­ni­ties United in Action (MACUA) to par­tic­i­pate in the Com­mu­nity Min­ing Lek­gotla dur­ing April 2015 as part of con­sul­ta­tions lead­ing up to the Cham­ber of Mines Min­ing Lek­gotla to be held in July2015.

In 2014, over 3000 MACUA mem­bers marched on the Cham­ber of Mines Lek­gotla in Midrand to call for com­mu­nity inclu­sion in Pol­icy, Leg­isla­tive and Reg­u­la­tory processes.

The Coali­tion sees the invi­ta­tion as a step in the right direc­tion but has warned the Cham­ber of Mines that they will only par­tic­i­pate in the pro­posed Com­mu­nity Lek­gotla if the Prin­ci­ples of Busi­ness, Gov­ern­ment and Organ­ised Labour are pre­pared to engage them in a seri­ous dis­cus­sion on the future of the MPRDA.

Nego­ti­a­tions with the Cham­ber of Mines are ongo­ing and the Coali­tion will release fur­ther infor­ma­tion as the nego­ti­a­tions unfold. A fur­ther state­ment will be released after the National Meet­ing of the coali­tion on the 30th March 2015.

ENDS

* The Civil Soci­ety Coali­tion on the MPRDA was formed on the 11 Feb­ru­ary 2015 on the side-lines of the Alter­na­tive Min­ing Ind­aba as a response to the closed door pol­icy of the Min­istry of Min­eral Resources and the appar­ent con­tin­ued exclu­sion of com­mu­ni­ties and civil soci­ety from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the MPRDA Leg­isla­tive Process. It includes the fol­low­ing organ­i­sa­tions:

 

  • Min­ing Affected Com­mu­ni­ties United in Action (MACUA)
  • Women Affected by Min­ing United in Action (WAMUA)
  • Min­ing and Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice Com­mu­nity Net­work (MEJCON-SA)
  • Vaal Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice Alliance (VEJA)
  • Action­Aid South Africa (AASA)
  • Bench­marks Foun­da­tion (BMF)
  • Ground­Works
  • National Union of Metal Work­ers of South Africa (NUMSA)
  • Oxfam
  • Fed­er­a­tion for a Sus­tain­able Envi­ron­ment (FSE)
  • South­ern African Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence, Jus­tice and Peace Com­mis­sion. (SACBC-J&PC)
  • United Front (UF)