Cape Town - Gold producer DRDGOLD [JSE:DRD] said it has sent a written
submission to the chair of parliament's water affairs portfolio
committee, Johnny de Lange, following comments he made concerning the
"DRDGold CEO Niel Pretorius has responded to reports
about advocate Johnny de Lange's comments during a parliamentary
committee briefing (on Monday) on the acid mine drainage (AMD) issue," the
company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Pretorius was invited to make a written submission after contacting De Lange's office and has now done so, it said.
On Monday, De Lange's committee received a briefing
from senior water affairs and Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA)
officials on the management of AMD in the Witwatersrand mining region.
The officials told MPs they were experiencing some
problems involving access to land in the region's Central Basin, and
that reaching a "cooperative arrangement" with DRDGold was a challenge.
Water affairs chief operations officer Trevor Balzer
told the briefing that what DRDGold was "trying to do at the moment, in
giving us access to their land, is saying, 'well, indemnify us from any
An angry De Lange took strong exception to this, calling it "blackmail".
"How can people blackmail you, to tell you we'll give
you access to the land... but by doing that we want to be indemnified
from any other obligations?
"How can we even negotiate with people like this? We
should just give them directives... and tell them to do it! And if they
don't, we should donner (beat) them!" he said.
He also instructed water affairs to write a letter to
DRDGold stating that, as a committee, "we absolutely abhor what they're
doing, and from our side we will be opposed to any kind of threat... and
"We absolutely will not [accept] that the law will not
be applicable to a mine because they've threatened us, [by not allowing]
us to do certain things on their property."
He further vowed to have the gold producer appear before the committee.
"I will find something that will get them to this
committee... I want them to come before the public and say what they
said. We're going to do that. We're not going to take nonsense like
that... that is absolutely unacceptable," De Lange said.
In its statement on Tuesday, DRDGold said that after its written submission, it expected to hear from De Lange soon.
"When he does, and if it is appropriate, DRDGold will issue a statement," the company said.