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Twickenham community marches for jobs and renewable energy

- Elton Thobejane

Sekhuhune Combined Mining Affected Communities and host communities to protest at Anglo American Platinum's Twickenham mine in Burgersfort on 13 May from 9:00

Sekhukhune Combined Mining Affected Communities (SCMAC) in collaboration with the Twickenham host communities invite all the media houses, civil society organisations, trade unions and working class formations to a protest scheduled to take place at the Anglo American Platinum's Twickenham mine in Burgersfort, Sekhukhune district in Limpopo province on Friday 13th May 2022 at 9:00.

The protest is the first step of rolling out community mass action against unemployment, inequality, poverty, high carbon emissions, the electricity crisis and climate change in the province.

Communities are calling for the reopening of the Twickenham platinum mine for job creation, initiation and support for a socially-owned renewable energy project and compliance with social and labour plans. Our communities are not living in an urban setting, therefore it is imperative that support for primary economic activities such as livestock herding and subsistence farming is sustained.

While the mine was placed under care and maintenance seven years are ago, climate change is hitting us badly and, the mining sector is the biggest contributor for this crisis. Our communities are unable to build resilience and adapt to the severity of the climate change and global warming catastrophe.

AMPLATS handed-out astronomical increases in dividends to the tune of R80 billion, following 160 percent increases in profit due to the rally in the prices of platinum group metals (PGMs) and increased sales. This resulted in increases to its earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (BITDA) from R41 billion in 2020 to R108 billion for the year ending December 2021.

In contrast, the conditions of the working class and host communities in particular have worsened. Whilst the shareholders are experiencing plentiful harvest from the on-going rally in the PGMs markets, host communities around Twickenham operation continue to be plagued by devastating levels of unemployment and poverty and increasing inequality.

The communities at Twickenham are fighting against mothballing or placing the Twickenham mine under a prolonged care and maintenance process, hoarding rare minerals and exacerbating unemployment in the area and across country. PGMs including platinum, palladium and rhodium are found in the area and are considered some of the rarest and most valuable precious metal in the world.

We need rhodium for the hydrogen battery cells as part of the renewable energy project. There is no reason to prolong the care and maintenance any further, since it was due to the ascending prices of the platinum group metals at the time. We are therefore hosting a protest in-person at Twickenham on 13 May 2022 from 9:00 in an effort to bring these concerns to light

SCMAC is supported by the Right2Protest Project and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. 

For inquiries, please contact

The Convener: Mr Elton Thobejane
072 5135 229