Loneville is in the south of Witbank (Emalahleni) in Mpumalanga, a province rich with mineral resources such as Coal and Platinum. Its residents though say they are being marginalized, and are excluded from the mining sector, as they are being deprived of the ability to participate in small-scale mining.

We spoke to Mathilda Yende from The Nkangala Economic Development Forum (NEDF) “moving with the mandate of the president our president has said that communities need to take this radical economic transformation by the head, and get it by their hands. He said it in the (SONA) State of the Nation Address” Mathilda said.

The community has had to close down the offices of the Department of Mineral Resources, simply because people in the department are not servicing the community, as they believe that being situated in this province rich with coal, they have to benefit from it also. Mathilda says they have applied for mining rights, for over 3 years and officials steal those mining rights from them. The NEDF team took us to another mine within less than a kilometre from the community, where they say they are also not benefiting from its activities, while also saying the air pollution from the mines are affecting their healths.

Local residents say they have written to the DMR and the Public Protector’s Office but they have not received a response as yet. Young people here say Eskom employs overseas people, and so they have taken matters into their own hands, saying enough is enough, as attempts to get comments from Eskom have proven unsuccessful.

Africa is rich with mineral resources but not everybody is benefiting from them, and residents say some of the mines are closed down and it’s expensive for them to get licenses to operate in this sector. The Nkangala Economic Development Forum (NEDF) and Loneville residents have issued strike notices to mining companies in the coal and platinum sectors.

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