Today, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) published its report on Anglo Platinum and its conduct towards communities affected by its platinum mines in the South African region of Limpopo. The report confirms the findings of various South African and international NGOs like makeITfair that have addressed this case as an issue of ‘free prior and informed consent’.

The SAHRC talks in great detail about the forced relocations of local communities, the lack of adequate compensation, water, energy and land, as well as the role of the so-called Section 21 companies. These companies, established to represent the communities and defend their interests, were effectively under the control of the mining company. This created a situation where the communities had no say in the relocation process, but were only left with the bills to pay for those removals.

In November last year, makeITfair published the report ‘Capacitating Electronics’ on the role and responsibility of electronics companies for issues at Anglo Platinum’s mines. This report brought the maltreatment of the local communities to the attention of the large end-users of the metals mined. Many of the issues described in that report are now assessed by the SAHRC, and many of the recommendations are along similar lines.