Mokopane, Limpopo, is a town on the brink. It’s on the brink of complete political meltdown, after years of factional fighting over corruption among municipal leaders. It could also be on the brink of a newfound prosperity, with a major platinum mine being built on its outskirts – on land previously used for small-scale subsistence farming. Some locals say they weren’t consulted properly, while mine bosses insist they must get on board or be left behind. The tensions here are emblematic of much wider social and political fraying-points. REBECCA DAVIS, GREG NICOLSON and BHEKI SIMELANE paid it a visit.
“This will be the biggest platinum mine in the world,” says Derick Tsita, gesturing towards bucolic green fields dotted with small yellow flowers. A herd of cows plods slowly by, a few hundred metres distant, beneath the foothills of the Waterberg mountains. There is little to hint at what the terrain may look like in a couple of years.
Photo: Derick Tsita, 55, a community member angered by how the Platreef mine is being established, walks across the Platreef site where he says farmers used to grow mealies. (Greg Nicolson)
Venture through the gates a little further down a red dirt…
Source : Daily Maverick