Today's Labour News

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comAs the court challenge to the third Mining Charter begins, Robert Krause, researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University, writes that mining companies have done to communities what they accuse government of doing to them, namely drowning out their voices.  

The Chamber of Mines (CoM), which represents 71 companies in the mining sector, has come out swinging against the latest version of the Mining Charter, launching a legal challenge to its validity that is backed by an extensive media campaign.  One of the main charges levelled by the CoM against the charter is that it was developed without meaningful public consultation.  But, the mantel of champion of public participation is a highly uncomfortable fit given the mining industry‚Äôs record in relation to groups of people who are affected by mining in a particularly acute and continuous manner, namely the communities who breathe the polluted air, drink unclean water and live in cracked houses as a result of mining.  Krause says that twenty years into the democratic era, unilateralism, failure to consult and bad faith remain pervasive characteristics of how mining companies themselves interact with communities.

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