On the 08th November 2011, Impala Platinum Mine and the Office of the Ward Councillor convened a community meeting at Thethe High School. The Impala officials indicated that the meeting was part of a series of meetings that they are convening in various villages affected by Impala’s operations. These meetings were scheduled to take place every six months. The agenda was prepared by the mine and covered amongst others: skills development, employment, procurement, community development.
Amid a satisfactory sponsored community turn-out, a complaint was made that the meeting excluded those community members engaged at their workplaces. ‘And for strategic, expedient, and politically divisive reasons, Impala allowed the meeting to be chaired by Ward councilor, Malebo Sephai’ fumed one outraged community member. Apparently, Impala has entered into an agreement with the Local Municipality that the mining company should cease to discuss their operations directly with their host communities.
Responding to the ‘employment opportunities’ presentation done by Zac Maphoso (Impala HR),the community raised serious concerns about the reliability and relevance of the statistics supporting the presentation. Most of the important concerns that were raised by the community were not answered by the Impala Officials, including the alleged corruption at the local Teba offices.
The angry community urged for the meeting to be aborted. The community then burnt the attendance register, citing that Impala will present a false image to the Department of Minerals and Energy and other authorities that they are working closely with their host communities.‘It is sad that Impala Platinum Mine has recently been voted by the Sunday Times’ corporate awards to have outperformed every other company on the Corporate Social Investment category. A lie that also seeks to cover the Royal Bafokeng Family’s betrayal of the Luka community’ observed Matlantla, a local community activist.