Human rights report recommends changes

Borrie la Grange

Borrie la Grange

After six months of investigation, site visits and interviews with villagers, the South African Human Rights Commission has finally released a report detailing recommendations to mining giant Anglo Platinum following allegations of human rights infringements.

In March a report by aid organisation Action Aid stated that about 17500 people in at least four rural villages near Mokopane in Limpopo claimed their rights to clean drinking water, housing and a healthy environment had been abused since Anglo Platinum resettled them to get to mineral deposits on their ancestral lands.

Anglo denied that its Potgietersrus Platinum Limited (PPL) mining operations polluted the water and it was adamant it had done all it could to resettle communities.

Yesterday the commission released a lengthy report in which it saw the process as a case study for other mining companies and recommended among other things:

l Experienced consultants should assist communities to understand their rights and how to use them during relocations

l Companies should move beyond basic legal compliance and that "a general human rights audit becomes a recommended standard practice"

l PPL and the Mogalakwena Municipality ensure water services to all communities, even those resisting relocation. The results of Anglo Platinum's exculpatory water quality report be clarified and discussed with communities.