Today's Labour News

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headgearBusinessLive reports that a new report by advocacy groups, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), indicates that community activists who oppose mining projects in SA are often harassed, threatened and sometimes killed.  

The activities of companies extracting metals and minerals have often run afoul of communities due to the impact they have on land use as well as the water and air pollution they cause.  The projects often divide communities as they also bring jobs and other opportunities.  HRW indicated on Tuesday in a report, ‘We Know Our Lives Are in Danger’, prepared with groundWork, Earthjustice and the Centre for Environmental Rights, that there have been “threats to personal security of community-rights defenders and environmental groups, restrictive interpretation of protest laws, police violence and harassment” through legal filings or social-media campaigns.  These have “contributed to an environment of fear in some mining-affected communities”.  Peaceful demonstrations have often been violently broken up by police.  The report documents threats and attacks in four provinces from 2013 to 2018 and shows their origins are often unknown, although activists believe they were initiated by the police, government officials, private security companies or other groups acting on behalf of mining companies.  Communities also complain that they receive few benefits from the mines despite their lives being disrupted through relocations and pollution.

  • Read the full original of Antony Sguazzin’s report on this story at BusinessLive

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