strike AT mine on cards

Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga Africa

A meeting today might decide whether residents of Kutloanong township in the Free State will take to the streets to protest against a lack of social development investment by Harmony Gold.

Kutloanong Minerals and Energy Forum secretary Aaron Letanta said Harmony Gold had finally contacted them about their planned mass actions.

"After weeks of silence since we sent them a copy of a resolution passed on June 8 Harmony has asked us to a meeting today," said Letanta.

He said the forum wanted a mediator from the mining industry to sit in on the meeting in case tensions arose.

In a letter to Harmony CEO Graham Briggs the forum said the mining company's prolonged refusal to respond to the community's plea had led to a resolution of protests (planned for Friday).

"The protests will take place at the Tshepong Mine and we are taking measures to educate the community about good conduct during the march," Letanta said.

Forum chairman Jabulani Tshabalala said they wanted to take Harmony Gold to task over its lack of social investment in the area.

Environmental lawyer Mariette Liefferink said mines were morally obligated to give back to the communities in which they mine.