Picture: (Batlhaping Baga-Maidi Community listening attentively regarding mining rights permit announcement)
By REGINALD KANYANE
THE Batlhaping Baga-Maidi Tribal Authority community in Taung welcomed the mining rights permit. The Batlhaping Baga-Maidi Tribal Authority Chief, Kgosi Nnyoko Motlhabane addressed the community at Manthe Community Hall in Manthestad, near Taung on Saturday regarding new developments.
Motlhabane said this was a historical day for the community after many years of hardships and tribulations. He further said the mining right permit would assist the community to move away from poverty and starvation.
“The community occupied this land more than 100 years ago, but could not access the wealth beneath it due to the historical injustices inflicted by the apartheid system. Today after 23 years in democracy, the community obtained rightful ownership to the minerals in their land. We are now in the prospecting processes that will commence soon.
“We are grateful that the community trusted our leadership even though it took us longer than expected. We came across many challenges, but we never gave up. The prospecting processes normal take 5 years, but we are adamant that we will complete it in a year. We want to do it as soon as we can so that can make way for mining operation,” Motlhabane said.
He further said they would do bankable documents to invite potential investors. Motlhabane added that aim is to see the community controlling the wealth of the area.
“Any potential investor who will be operating here will operate under community’s conditions and regulations. The project will create job opportunities for young people because they will embark on a mentorship programme at Diamond School in Gauteng. The aim is to ensure that they acquire necessary skills to monitor the diamonds during sorting process.
“We will need proper monitoring especially during diamond sorting process. The project will also address socio-economic challenges such as unemployment, inequality and poverty. The authority will form development committees consist of community members. They will represent the community’s interest and ensure that everything is done overboard to avoid corruption, fraud and greed,” Motlhabane said.
One of community members, Nana Mogotsi said: “Mining project will assist us in addressing unemployment, inequality and poverty. We believe that our community will benefit and self-development is imminent. We want to commend buoyed Motlhabane for his fighting spirit.
Kutlwano Tikane (28) shared the same sentiments. Tikane who is self-employed, said this will also assist young entrepreneurs in the area.
“We are very grateful for the initiative and we hope this comes sooner rather than later. We know Taung is predominantly rural, but has wealth of raw minerals that need to benefit our people. We want to see changes after time of hardships, tribulations and injustices our people experienced in the past,” he said.
Boikie Madienyane (37) said: “This mining project is huge and mineral rights are valuable. We have been waiting for the permit and now things look brighter after prospecting process started. This will bring changes in the area and empower young people especially through education. We need new developments after all.”