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27 Jan 2017

So. Africa: New report by FIDH & LHR reveals devastating human toll of Blyvooruitzicht Mine liquidation

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The human toll of the abrupt closure of the Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine in 2013 is devastating, according to a new FIDH and LHR report. The two human rights organisations documented a widespread and precipitous decline in both environmental and socio-economic standards, since the Mine's collapse. FIDH and LHR condemn, in their report, the role of corporate and state actors who did not comply with their obligations, abandoning the community of 6000 residents. The mine started production in 1942 and was operated by companies including DRD Gold Ltd. and Village Main Reef Ltd. The report recommends that the structural issues highlighted must be immediately addressed through legislative amendment, improved enforcement, the capacitation of relevant government spheres and departments, and the incorporation of mining communities into the fabric of local municipalities and mainstream service provision so as to avoid recurrence of such situations on a much broader scale. Some of the recommendations to the previous owners of Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine include: 

  • Conduct human rights due diligence throughout business operations, including during the initiation and at completion of closure procedures. 
  • Comply with responsibility to respect human rights...
  • Redress human rights abuses, including environmental harms, directly or indirectly caused by inadequate or lack of human rights due diligence undertaken during the course of business operations.

[The executive summary of the report is here]

The report and media items related to this story are below: