Rural communities in South Africa are losing their farm land and clean water to the activities of platinum mining giant Anglo Platinum, the world’s largest platinum company. A new ActionAid report, Precious Metal: The impact of Anglo Platinum on poor communities in Limpopo, South Africa, focuses on just one of a number of platinum producers who have moved into Limpopo, the northernmost province of South Africa, where two-thirds of the population live in poverty and 40 percent live in “ultra-poverty.” According to the report, thousands of people have lost land and received little compensation in a series of relocation deals with Anglo Platinum.
What Can You Do?
ActionAid is calling on the South African Parliament to reject proposed amendments to the mining act that would substantially weaken environmental and social safeguards. Visit ActionAid to find out more about their work in South Africa and around the world against poverty and injustice.
Brilliant Earth’s precious metals, which include platinum, gold, and silver, are all recycled and do not contribute to environmental degradation, water pollution, or displacement of communities. Buy recycled to show your support for an ethical and eco-friendly jewelry industry.
Some of the report’s main findings:
Thousands of poor people in rural areas have lost agricultural land – their main means of livelihood – due to mining activities undertaken by Anglo Platinum.
Whole communities have lost access to clean drinking water. Independent water sampling analysis commissioned by ActionAid has discovered serious water pollution at four sites near Anglo Platinum’s mines, including two schools. Mining activities are the most likely cause of this pollution, which has made the water unfit for human consumption.
Villagers have been removed from their homes in relocation agreements signed with associations that the company claims represent the community, but which have actually been established by the company itself.
Community protests to improve services offered to villagers or to challenge Anglo Platinum over land take-overs have often been met with brutality by the police and legal action by the company.
Anglo Platinum is continuing to expand its mining operations in densely populated rural areas, which will result in further imminent displacements.
Thanks to our friends at Madison Dialogue for alerting us to the new ActionAid report.