A FAMILY in North West province wants millions of rands from Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats), claiming the mining company has used their land for 36 years without any compensation, according to a report on Wednesday.
Report by Fin24
The land is apparently worth R40m, Beeld reported.
Members of the impoverished Motsuenyane family live next door to their land, without water or electricity, in an informal settlement.
Their portion of land, on the farm Wildebeestfontein, which belongs to the estate of Priscilla Motsuenyane, has been occupied by mining activities, a large informal settlement and other industries linked to the mine.
Priscilla Motsuenyane died in 1963, but in 2011, her heirs’ legal team lodged an appeal with the minister of mineral resources, in which they requested that Impala’s mining rights be set aside.
They are currently waiting for a decision on the matter, after negotiations with Implats failed.
Meanwhile a separate claim for damages is being prepared.
Implats has denied any wrongdoing, and maintained that correct procedures had been followed since mining commenced in the late 1970s.
According to mine spokesperson Alice Lourens, the mineral rights for the land never belonged to the family, they belonged to the state.
She said, furthermore, that the mine had surface rights permits for 105 of the 107 hectares that belonged to Priscilla Motsuenyane’s estate.