ActionAid South Africa (AASA) welcomes the ruling by the Pretoria High Court to grant Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) together with Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) and Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network (Mejcon) leave to join the challenge against the Mining Charter despite attempts by the Chamber of Mines to oppose their application.
Christopher Rutledge, AASA’s Natural Resources Manager, believes the Chamber of Mines has demonstrated duplicity by paying lip service to communities while actively using its wealth to exclude them. “We are encouraged that the courts have recognised that there can be no conversation about mining without the active and legitimate participation of mining affected communities and that the colonial legacy of decisions being reached only between government and business must come to an end,” explains Rutledge.
AASA is also pleased that the court has ordered the Chamber of Mines to foot the legal costs as their challenge to oppose the inclusion of communities was not only illegitimate, but a brazen attempt to undermine the law and people’s rights.
Emily Craven, Head of Programmes at AASA says this ruling shows how powerful and important mass mobilisation is in ensuring justice is upheld. “We applaud the efforts our partners and mining affected communities, and will continue to support them to hold government and corporates accountable.”