If you think, for a minute, that the obligation for the mining sector to comply with the Mining Charter has improved the living conditions of mine workers and host communities, you are terribly mistaken, laments National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) of Head of Transformation, Noluthando Brukwe. As the custodian of mine workers interests, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has been monitoring mining houses keenly.
The performance of mining houses in implementing the Pillar on the Provision of Housing and Living Conditions, which focuses on occupancy rate, home ownership options and the provision of balanced nutrition, is, to say the least, appalling, Brukwe told Transform SA. “Mines are conveniently exploiting the apartheid style-migrant labour system and a living allowance to shirk responsibility. If truth be told, they have no one but themselves to blame for lagging behind.”
Mines, mainly in the historical gold, platinum, manganese and diamond sector, mainly in the historical gold, platinum, manganese and diamond sector, deliberately recruit people outside of host communities and former homelands like Eastern Cape whose families are far away, Brukwe observes. “Since most of their employees are immigrants, mines do not feel the sense of urgency to convert derelict hostels into both single and family units.”
Another ploy mines do employ to pass the buck is by offering a ‘lousy’ living out allowance, Brukwe observed. “Through living allowances, mines are indirectly creating “blikkies dorps” next to their operations, overburdening municipal infrastructure, just as it is currently being experienced in Rustenburg.”
Above and beyond, the facilitation of home ownership in mines is agonisingly slow, and where there has been a semblance of progress, the supposed beneficiaries have been overburdened with paying astronomical prices for houses built.