Bafokeng Land Buyers’ Association, in collaboration with Robega Crisis Committee and Matseta-a-Robega commemorated June 16 public holiday by holding a peaceful march demonstration at Robega village just outside Sun City.
The aim of the march demonstration was to raise awareness about human rights issues affecting the youth in mine-hosting communities.
Robega Village, home to about 20 000 residents, is surrounded by Bafokeng Rasimone Mines; RBPlats and Bakubung Platinum mine shafts.
The host village, resident on the farm Boschkoppie 104JQ, has in the past ten years experienced a huge influx of migrant mine-labour due to mining developments in the area.
Mining developments have brought about increased community demands for social services including housing. Young, poverty stricken people are also prone to sacrificing their schooling and education to find employment in the mines.
The march demonstration proceeded to Robega Community Hall, where a community meeting was held to address topical issues affecting the community.
It emerged from the meeting that the Royal Bafokeng Nation (‘RBN’) has been trying to wrest ownership and control of the Trust Land, said Boschkoppie 104JQ for some time and without success. Trust lands under the administration of the RBN including Tlapa, Tantanana, Maile and Robega refused in around 1996 to subscribe to the RBN chieftaincy. The communities are governed and administered by statutory Village Councils elected to office every five years. The RBN has for some time sought to impose itself over the communities by imposing headmen over the communities. This unwarranted action by the RBN is now before the North West High Court. The RBN approached the Court, much to the chagrin of the community and the BLBA, to have the farmland transferred and registered under its name.
Youth and parents were advised that ownership of land supersedes employment offers by the mines. And that it was important for parents not to be bribed and fall prey to employment opportunities brought about by mining, often done at huge cost to human rights and sustainable livelihoods.
Communities vowed to attend the North West High Court on the 29 June 2017 to go and defend their land against the RBN. They accuse the RBN and the Bafokeng chief as mere fronts and representatives of the brutal, exploitative mining complex in the area.
Visit:Evictions – Robega Community vs Royal Bafokeng Nation for an update on the case.