So. Africa: Residents raise fears about losing houses they were relocated to as Optimum coal mine faces possible closure

Author: Sheree Bega, Published on: 11 March 2018

"Rockdale residents fear the worst as Optimum coal mine faces collapse", 3 March 2018

But today, without a title deed for the property and with more than 30 of his cattle dead from starvation, leaving his rural home is a decision he still regrets. “The Optimum coal mine made me poor,” says Mabena bitterly, as he sits in his small home...Now that the embattled coal mine, which is owned by the controversial Gupta family, has been placed under business rescue again, the 63-year-old has another worry: possibly losing this house too...Down the road, Mabena’s 84-year-old wheelchair-bound aunt, Selaphi Mthethwa, sits huddled in blankets on a reed mat...Without a title deed, they worry what will happen to them when she dies. Mthethwa remembers how the mine came closer to her home, and how the blasting eventually shook her family off the land too. “You know what I miss? I miss the forest and my animals.”...A small group of families in Mooifontein who had refused to leave their farm homes have now reached a “satisfactory” confidential settlement with Optimum through their lawyers, Richard Spoor Attorneys. Their attorney, George Kahn, believes it’s unlikely that the Rockdale relocated families could ever be evicted...The firm did not respond this week but previously noted how “domestic legislation and international regulations have been followed during the negotiations to date...

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