South Africa: Community protests against Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Mine over "unequal treatment of host communities" disrupt operations

Author: Nompumelelo Magwaza, Published on: 8 May 2016

"Blockade closed Richards Bay Minerals mine", 9 May 2016

Operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) [a subsidiary of Rio Tinto] in northern KwaZulu-Natal have been suspended after community members blockaded roads leading to the mine’s entrance...Residents of KwaSokhulu and KwaMbonambi are demanding permanent jobs and “equal” business opportunities...[A community youth leader] said the protests were a result of unequal treatment by RBM of its host communities. “We want to be treated the same as host communities. If the other community is getting business opportunities, we must also get them,” he said. “Over the last few weeks RBM has faced a series of disruptions as a result of community protests and road blockages...After numerous engagements with relevant community structures, the situation remains volatile...operations are suspended until further notice", the company said in a statement...

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Related companies: Rio Tinto