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Mining and your Community

Know your Environmental Rights

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Centre for Environmental Rights and Lawyers for Human Rights

01 June 2014


Mining Towns Librarian

Guide/ Handbook

Municipal Capability & Partnership Programme

South Africa

Mining is an important industry in South Africa, but it is also an industry that can have damaging impacts. Mining often pollutes the water, air and soil, and can disrupt farming activities and community life. Communities throughout South Africa struggle to defend their rights to their land, to their environment and to their resources when faced with mining in their community. Although mining companies promise jobs and development, it is fairly unusual for a community that is affected by the mining to see these benefits.


One of the challenges communities face is a lack of information about their rights and the law that applies to mining. Mining law and governance are complex. There are many different laws that apply to mining and it is governed by three national government departments as well as provincial and municipal government. As a result, people who are affected by mining often struggle to find out what their rights are or to know who to turn to for help. This guide will give you some of the information you need to understand what your rights are and the legal processes mining companies must follow before they can start mining.


This resource is part of the Mining Towns Collection kindly sponsored by the Municipal Capability and Partnership ProgrammeAbstract based on source.


Website References

Air quality

Built environment


Environmental management



Land rights

Mining Towns

Mining Towns Collection

Soil conservation

South Africa

Water management

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