The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Towns and Labour Sending Areas welcomes the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Investigative Hearing Report on the Underlying Socio-economic Challenges of Mining-affected Communities in South Africa.
The report is an important contribution in supporting the mandate of the SAHRC in promoting respect for human rights; developing a culture of human rights; promoting the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and monitoring and assessing the observance of human rights in the Republic, in particular those communities affected by mining related activities.
The Government of South Africa is committed to promoting human rights and ensuring decent living conditions of mining communities. As such, we participated in the South African Human Rights Commission National Hearing on the Underlying Socio-economic Challenges of Mining-affected Communities in South Africa.
The government notes the findings and directives emanating from this hearing and has already met with the Commission to discuss plans to collaborate in ensuring the Commission’s findings and directives are supported and implemented by government. While the South African Human Rights Commission released the report two years after the actual hearing had taken place, government through the Special Presidential Package for the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities and Labour Sending Areas (LSA’s) has been working towards implementing many of the recommendations contained in the SAHRC report.
This work has largely been implemented through an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities and Labour Sending Areas.
The IMC is chaired by the Minister in the Presidency and has set the several outcomes, including (1) Achieving integrated and sustainable human settlements; (2) Improving socio-economic conditions in mine affected communities, (3) Improving working conditions of mine workers and the health of mining communities; and (4) Achieving decent living conditions for mine workers and meaningful contribution to the development trajectory of mining towns and labour sending areas.
The South African Human Rights Commission has presented its findings to the IMC, and a process has been established to adhere and implement the recommendations and findings of the Commission. The IMC will also put in place additional institutional mechanisms and projects, which will include state owned entities and agencies in order to address challenges faced by distressed mining communities and labour sending areas. These initiatives include an array of socio-economic development programmes aimed at diversifying mining and labour sending areas local and regional economies.
We continue to make immense strides in improving working conditions and mine community health by co-ordinating stakeholder support in ensuring health services, products and retirement benefits are easily accessible to ex-mineworkers.
Decent living conditions for mine workers and meaningful contribution to the development trajectory of mining towns and labour sending areas remains a core focus for the IMC.
We look forward and commit to further collaborating with the SAHRC, the private sector, civil society and broad society in securing a better quality life for our citizens particularly those that reside in distressed mining communities and labour sending areas.
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