Lesotho: Mining company clashes with villagers over compensation for displacement and loss of livelihoods; company says committed to amicable solution
Author: Bereng Mpaki, Lesotho Times (Lesotho), Published on: 4 March 2018
"Mine clashes with Thaba Tseka host community", 9 Feb 2018
...[T]he elderly widow has survived on subsistence farming and fended for her grandchildren but this is no longer possible after she had to give up her corn fields which fall within the area where the Pure Lesotho Resources Company has been given the nod by government to prospect for alluvial diamonds...And while the mining project would certainly be a boon for the country’s economy...the same cannot be said at a local level for Ms Mputsoe and other villagers whose livelihoods have been affected...The villagers further say the company added salt to their injuries by failing to consult them before commencing their operations in the area...For his part, Pure Lesotho Resources representative, Lefa Monaheng, said they followed the correct procedures as they had also got approval from district administrator’s office in Thaba Tseka in addition to the government approval to begin prospecting. Mr Monaheng also said they were committed to fully compensating the villagers, adding, the M12 000 paid out to each villager was not the full amount. He however, lamented the lack of a clear compensation policy by the government which should guide the process and make it smoother. Mr Monaheng disputed Ms Lerotholi’s version of events and instead blamed her for turning down requests for public gatherings ahead of his company’s operations.