Waterpan Communities

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On 30 November 2022, we visited the Waterpan area under the guidance of the Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA WAMUA Advice Office). The organisation has been fighting for the right to housing and land for food gardens to improve the livelihoods of the community members. The purpose of the visit was to learn about their livelihood and their history.

Ida Lephatse, coordinator for Wamua (Woman affected by mining) explained that they were working for the Sibanye-Stillwater mine when they were retrenched in 2017 without any housing or any form of money from the mine.

Following this, the retrenched workers settled a land that was owned by the mine but were evicted by the Red Ants. The eviction that affected their livelihoods since they did not have any way to earn a living. With the help of Macua, they managed to fight the mine until they got the place where they staying and are now planting and selling vegetables to survive.

During that same year, an old woman who was staying with her grandchildren was evicted with everything she had. She had to be put in another person’s shack to have a place until Macua secured an old house for her.

The workers are still struggling to get their money from the mine and the ownership of the land because the municipality says the mine has to pay R13 million for the city resources that the mine was using.  Nothing has happened since. The school that their kids attend it is being moved to another place because it is currently too close to a dam. The city will demolish the structure just as they did with the hostel of the workers.

This article was submitted on 30 November 2022. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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