Implats owes us millions, says family

2012-10-17 09:12

Johannesburg - A family in North West province wants millions of rands from Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP] (Implats), claiming the mining company has used their land for 36 years without any compensation, according to a report on Wednesday.

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.


  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-17 09:39

    It is a law of the state that all minerals belong to the state, no one can take it without a permit / licence from the state.

      Jo.Davies123 - 2012-10-17 10:02

      In terms of the Act, new-order rights may be registered, transferred and traded, while existing operators are guaranteed security of tenure. Mining rights are valid for a maximum of 30 years and renewable for another 30 years, while prospecting rights are valid for up to five years and renewable for another three. Impala platinum has the right to mining. They dont just come in and mine

      jacques.otto.50 - 2012-10-17 11:18

      Yes ok true the mineral rights is was owend by the state and Impala used that. Problem is what about the land. If Impala occupied it they still needed to compensate the land. Lets think about it. If this is their land than some sort of compensasion should have been given to buy the landregardless of the mineral rights. Mineral rights and land ownership are two different things.

      Jo.Davies123 - 2012-10-17 11:51

      When land is purchased, it does not include mineral rights, very true. Unless Impala reached an alternative arrangement with the ownwer, they would be laible for compensation. It would appear as if the "big man" took advantage of the family and have used jargon to stall the process un until now. I have to wonder how many other families have been taken advantage in similar circumstances

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-17 10:10

    It's the combination of ignorance and arrogance that will be SA's undoing. Just no clue how it all works and what makes the world turn.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-17 10:35

    Pay them what is due to them. I cannot accept that you can get 105 out of 107 hectares on a permit without compensation for the use of the land.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-10-17 11:18

      Take that up with government, if the mines followed protocol why now start pointing fingers at the mine?

      DarrenCooper68 - 2012-10-17 11:53

      @PointBlank, Why? Quite simply because it's the right thing to do. The family have no electricity or running water. Any way it's cut it just doesn't seem right. I assume negotiationns broke down because of unrealistic expectations brought on by lawyers etc and the current hot potato issue of land restitution. I would also assume that they are claiming compensation from the residents of the "large informal settlement and other industries linked to the mine"

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-10-17 13:56

      PointBlank has a point! It is not private business's role to set the rules, business is there to make money/ is government's role to establish the ground rules. So if the mines adhered to the parameters established by the government of the day the claim is surely against the government not the mines.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-10-17 11:11

    It's all about the money - probably find that the family has already been paid at 1963 prices, but they probably don't work and now they have come to the realization that they can make money from the mines - i don't see this working out for them.

      lizette.wilsenach - 2012-10-17 12:45

      If they received due compensation, they would not have to work for a VERY long time

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-17 15:09

      Most people don't know how to work with money, no wonder 95% of all people retire without enough money.

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-10-17 11:18

    The laws of the land were not ethical back then. Compensate the family in good faith, it's the least the company can do,

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-17 15:20

      The least they should get is rent and back dated rent from all the parties, if they can proof ownership. How was this missed, the estate was probably never finalised? Nearly 50 years!

  • JamesMWood - 2012-10-17 11:31

    Kleva ne, wait till someone makes the kand worth something say 'eish but thet lend she is mine'

  • mart.botha - 2012-10-17 15:07

    My first reaction was one that the family are being opportunistic...but on reflection perhaps not so much. I would suggest a 'love settlement' be reached between the parties, perhaps in the form of a once off lump sum and thereafter a monthly dividend. Alternatively the family must rather pursue the executor of the estate don't you think.

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