Community members at Atok outside Burgersfort in Limpopo have accused the mining company Samancor of not compensating them for mining on their ploughing fields and yards. They say that they had an agreement with the mining company in April last year that each landowner would receive R5 000 per month as compensation for mining chrome on their land. Samancor has, however, disputed the said arrangement.
They say that although the company continues to extract chrome from their land, the majority of them have received no payment. Others were only paid for less than five months.
These community members say that they have now lost their livelihoods.
“They promised to pay us R5 000 a month when they mined on our farms, but we never got anything. What is surprising is that they erected the fence on our farm before starting to mine. They later removed it without telling us anything and now they have erected a new fence to continue with the mining. We have a problem with Samancor because they brought their company to mine on our farms and stands, but now they are failing to fulfil their promises to pay us. They kept on mining without paying us and now they are not saying anything.”
One of the residents indicates that she only received the agreed amount a few times.
“These people took our farms last year and promised to pay us every month. They only paid us for a few months and stopped paying for other months. Some people were not paid at all.”
In a written response, Samancor spokesperson Sunel Pretorius denies the existence of such an agreement with the Atok community. Pretorius says the company has investigated the matter and found that it is not a party to the arrangement and that it does not owe the said community any money.