A string of community members marched to the nickel mine, demanding job creation and skills development.
A memorandum submitted to a mine partly owned by Sundowns football club president Patrice Motsepe, claims that the South African National Civic Organisation is using the mine as its source of funding in its “political agenda”.
Local community members from Tjakastad, Nhlazantshe and Badplaas were bussed to the Nkomati Mine on Friday morning (28 Jun), where they delivered a memorandum of demands.
In the memorandum, the community members claim a power struggle in the ANC-led alliance sees Nkomati nickel mine being turned into a source of funds by the civic organisation in the Mpumalanga province.
“And unemployed members of our community are victims of this power struggle,” the memorandum submitted by the marchers read.
“Community members that are not aligned with your SANCO are being sidelined until they [join] this organisation and that in itself is ground to label your mine as corrupt,” it said.
The nickel mine is located between Machadodorp and Badplaas in Mpumalanga and is owned by Motsepe’s African Rainbow Minerals and Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel.
013NEWS understands that SANCO provincial secretary Mike Soko has business interests in the mine and it provincial executive member Doctor Mwale employed by the mine as its community development head. Others also claim that SANCO national chairman David Mkhwanazi benefits from tenders at the mine but 013NEWS could not independently confirm this.
The marchers also demanded that tenders be given to local people.
SANCO provincial spokesman Bongani Mwale said they were not aware the memorandum mentions the organisation as they didn’t see it.
“SANCO isn’t aware of the memorandum since the marchers were not marching against SANCO,” Mwale said.
“However some of the people who embarked on the march spoke about the manufactured fabrications contained by the submitted memorandum and as SANCO we aren’t fazed about such events and the attacks directed to leaders of SANCO.
“The ultimate purpose of these attacks is to weaken SANCO. Lastly SANCO wouldn’t be distracted by these, and SANCO doesn’t have to clear itself against anything,” he said adding that the growth of SANCO in the past three years “irritates a lot of people, and unfortunately some within the ranks of the Congress Movement”.
Nkomati mine general manager Bertina Symonds said they will reply to the memorandum in seven days.
(edited by ZK)
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