The Justice and Peace group of St Maria Goretti, Riverlea, has laid a charge of illegal dumping at the Riverlea police station against Central Rand Gold, a mining company active in the area. At the time of writing, J&P are preparing to meet with the National Prosecuting Authority indicating that the SAPS investigating officer has found the charge to be substantive.
The charge arises out of tons of building rubble, and other debris having been brought in and dumped on the mine site. The land in question is adjacent to Riverlea on the north and south of Main Reef Road. Also affected by both the mining and the dumping are George Harrison Park, a provincial mining heritage site, a national historical monument, the gold mining memorial, and the TC Esterhuysen Primary School.
In June, a fleet of 25-ton trucks, loaded with rubble, arrived late in the night, entering the mine site through Riverlea and proceeding along a newly- prepared road to the edge of the mine pit.
The next night when the dump trucks arrived residents were ready for them and blocked access to the site with their cars. Further dumping took place with the mine being accessed from the north. Information has been gathered with the assistance of The Bench Marks Foundation, an independent organisation monitoring corporate social responsibility.
CRG mining company has a licence to mine the gold‑bearing Witwatersrand conglomerates which outcrop on the site. One of the conditions of the licence is the rehabilitation of the site once mining has ceased.
Mark Kayter from J&P says the community would like to see the land used for housing, meeting a great need in the area. Since there has been no discernible mining activity on the site for nearly three years, except for illegal mining, J&P and the community met with CRG in May to ask about when rehabilitation would commence. The company made no mention of their intention to fill the pits with rubble from off-site. Nor did they approach the community before allowing the massive dumping on the mine site, demonstrating a callous disregard for the rights of the community and the promises made before the licence was granted and mining commenced.