'Huge' JMPD contingent to monitor protest outside mining company offices

11 October 2019 - 06:38
By Nomahlubi Jordaan
The JMPD said it will monitor a protest outside a mining company's head office in Johannesburg on Friday. File photo.
Image: Reuben Goldberg The JMPD said it will monitor a protest outside a mining company's head office in Johannesburg on Friday. File photo.

A "huge" number of Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers will be deployed to the offices of Australian mining company South 32 in Johannesburg on Friday, where about 700 community members from Mpumalanga's mining towns will be picketing.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minaar said the march would take place from 9.30am.

"There will be a group of people picketing at the intersection of Melrose Boulevard and Athol Oaklands Road. A representative from the company will receive a memorandum from the group," Minaar said.

"There will be a huge number of officers to monitor the protest in the area."

The march, according to its organisers, is about Mpumalanga communities' dissatisfaction in South 32's operations.

In 2018, South 32 announced its intention to sell off its SA thermal coal business.

In August, Business Day reported that Mike Teke’s Seriti Resources had emerged as the exclusive bidder for South 32’s SA coal mines.

Tebogo Abrahams, chairperson of civic organisation South African Youth in Mining, said the protest was against South 32 selling its assets without including communities in the mining towns of Mpumalanga.

"We are joining the march to sympathise with the communities..." said Abrahams.

The march, Abrahams said, would be held outside the offices of South 32. It will be a "peaceful" protest, he added.

"There is no operation that will take place until our demands are met. The protest will go to the mines if there is no resolution to the matter," Abrahams said.

Sam Masango, chairperson of the South African Youth Council, said they were also opposing the deal concluded by the two mining companies.

He said they would be shutting down South 32's offices on Friday.

He said members of the mining communities that would be taking part would be bused from Mpumalanga to Johannesburg.