Witbank community members march to South32 offices to hand over memorandum

11 October 2019 - 13:49 By Yoliswa Sobuwa

Around 700 community members from Witbank in Mpumalanga gathered at James and Ethel Park in Melrose, north of Johannesburg, on Friday morning.

They intended marching to the offices of Australian mining group South32 in Melrose Arch.

Sam Masango, chairperson of the South African Youth Council in Mpumalanga, said they will hand over a memorandum of demands and grievances to the management of South32. 

"Last month, it was announced that Seriti Resources have entered into an exclusive contractual negotiations to acquire South32's South African energy coal business. The deal between the two is unfair and was a secret to us as the community of Witbank. The deal is not inclusive with the community of Mpumalanga and, in that case, the deal should be shared 50/50," Masango said.

Masango said the aim is to stop operations at South32 offices to make sure their demands are met.

Community members who arrived in seven buses wore t-shirts with the slogans: "Unbundle the deal for fairness" and "South 32 must fall".

Community member Odwa Mbobo, 35, said all they want is to be included in the deal. 

"Most people in my area are unemployed, but these mine bosses are hiring people from outside Mpumalanga. We want to be ensured that our families will benefit from this deal," he said.

- SowetanLIVE