Sunday 13 November 2011

Vitro must pay for all Environmental Crimes

Vaal Triangle is a home to many industries especially steel, petrol chemicals, fertilers, cement and textiles. The environmental problems arises due to this industries are water, air and waste.Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance received a complain from communities living in steelpark near a mine called Vitro. Vitro is one of many mining companies in Vaal Trianle and is operating an open cast mining in Veneering mining Clay to produce ceramic tiles .VEJA has been receiving complains from surrounding area about their emissions that come from their manufacturing plant, dust and water that is being discharge to an open pit next to steelpark community. 

VEJA found out that this company operating without Environmental Management Plan, with out water use licences and it seems as if these operations has not been monitored by the authorities. In nfour meetings of Rietspruit Water Forum VEJA questioned these mining operations that is trying its level best to run away from compliance. Vitro tried their level best to fool authoriries and community by denying all this alligations. Through the assistance of the communities VEJA manage to find an illegal discharging pipe. In the Rietspruit Forum that was held on the 8 October 2011 again the questions were about the illegal pipe was asked in front of Vitro and again it denied.
Stream that take water to the river Rietspruit River
A tip from a community member lead VEJA into to the illegal discharging pipe and took pictures to show to Department of Water affairs to investigate this mining company. We are  demanding full investigations of non compliance, Vitro must pay for all environmental crimes they have caused.
Vitro discharging water without water use licence


Saturday 12 November 2011

Getting to know ArcelorMittal better through community voices

Participatory Action Research
Participants in the absence of other two members Dudu Diphoko and
Boyson Buang..
Nthabieneng Dimema, she also part of
Bench Marks Foundation Monitoring
School, she is saying in Boitumelo she says there are somepositive
thing about Mittal because they have gaven a bursary some learners but they
do more of the good things for communities.
ArcelorMittal is a steel making company that for years communities in the Vaal Triange have been bearing the brunt of its pollution. The company has violeted human right and dignity of several isssues such as water pollution, dust blowing dirrectly in to the people's houses, responsible for making hundres of worker and community sick and been accountable to anyone. Communities living near the fenceline of ArcelorMittal took part in Community Participatory Research. The research is conducted by Bench Marks Foundation in collaboration with Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance. The aim of the research was to investigate through the community voices how much communities are impacted or affected ArcelorMittal. This what they have to say in the meeting that was held on the 12 Novermber 2011.
Maria Mack from Bphelong, says
must compensate all affectd workers,
she is victim because her father passed
way and was working for Mittal. They
did not receive any compensation. She
using her daughter grant to provide
for the family. 
Lebohang Mokoena stays in Sasolburg but share
the experience with people living close to Mittal
Pollution has no boundaries, our government must
play activive role in protecting community
human rights and Environment. In Boipatong Township
Dust from ArcelorMittal is blowing dirrectly into people's
houses but its ok because they where given milk to drink
by ArcelorMittal to mitigate the situation, how sick that is. Community
don't understand or know little about Corporate Social Responsibility.

Rosina Khantsi, stays in Bophelong
says Mittal must stop brainwashing
communities by roofing the house rather
than dealing with Emvironmental issue. Rosina's
wish is that ArcelorMittal must consult with the communties
Mittal must to painting Community Halls only but they
must invest in the community upliftement programme and
youth development programme.

Sonti Mtambo, her family stayed at Steelvalley
 where  groundwater was contimanited because of
 ArcelorMittal. She has witness young mother
 miscarrying their unborn baby, skin irritations, cancers and
many other illness  drinking
 polluted water. Her family was
removed from the area by ArcelorMittal 
promised a better life.
Today they are staying in a
squater Camp calleed Joko Tea. 
No water and Sanitation and roads are very bad. She blame
it all to ArcelorMittal by destriying their agricultureal land.
Making to move in to town ship where there no place to plant or
grow their vegetables like they used to.

Lisemelo Masibuko, she is working closely with ArcelorMittal
Ex-workers, as young as she is, she has experience the pain of this
worker who for 12 years has been fighting for their
compensation of the illenss that they believe was due to working
 for the comapny. She wishes that Mittal can admit that they have make
ex-workers sick and compensate them. Government  also
must hold the company accountable.
She is also part of Bench Marks
Monitoring School, which has empower her on computer skill
and writting community stories.


Thursday 3 November 2011

Partnering with Metsi -a- Lekoa

It has become common knowledge that the poor are likely to be hit hardest by Environmental Impact. it is important to work with different stakeholders in the and outside Vaal Triangle for the benefit of protecting and preseving the Environment. Poor communities in the Vaal Triangle  must be able to understand state of the environment their living in. The kind of water they drinking, air they breath and land they grow their vegetables. Today we where honoured by the Department of Education from Sedibeng West District office and Metsi - a- Lekoa which a water utility of Emfulweni Local Municipality.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss possible partnership between Metsi- a- Lekoa, Department of Education and VEJA. We will assist each other in promoting environmental education and awareness in our schools. The aim is make sure that learners, communities and all stakeholders participate in environmental  programmes through a more informed choice for the benefit of environmental sustanability in the Vaal Triangle.

The meeting was attended by Caroline Ntaopane( VEJA), Samson Mokoena,( VEJA) Lebohang Mokoena( VEJA) , Boyson Buang( VEJA), Mojalefa Radebe( Metsi- a- Lekoa), Mamakhe Khaha( Metsi - a -Lekoa) and Jimmy Sithole Department of Education District.

We thank Ntate Jimmy Sithole and Lebohanhg Mokoena for setting up the meeting. It is up to all of us to act now on behalf of our future generations.