The Phola women are coming to Australia!

45508338_10161266739765601_7651450582460268544_n

Thanks to an incredible show of support, Mam Nonhlanhla Lorraine Mvubelo and Millicent Nomfundo Shungube from Phola can now book their flights to Australia to ramp up the pressure on Australian mining company, South32, to address their concerns.

Over the past seven days, 85 amazing people chipped in a combined $3,405 in solidarity with the women of Phola, South Africa.

Thanks to this incredible show of support, Mam Nonhlanhla Lorraine Mvubelo and Millicent Nomfundo Shungube from Phola can now book their flights to Australia and ramp up the pressure on Australian mining company, South32, to address their concerns.

We’re in talks with South32 now to coordinate the meeting they committed to have with the women of Phola in the face of mounting public pressure from the ActionAid community.

But this trip is also an important opportunity for Millicent and Mam Nonhlanhla to grow support for their campaign and make sure South32 follows through.

How will they do this? We’re planning two exciting events in Sydney and Melbourne to bring people together, plus opportunities to engage online if you’re based elsewhere. It would be wonderful to see you there.

*SYDNEY*: RSVP to a Storytelling Night on Tuesday 20 November at Redfern Town Hall and MELBOURNE: RSVP to a night of discussion, music and food on Sunday 18 November.

Not based in Sydney or Melbourne? You won’t miss out. We’ll be hosting an online discussion with Millicent and Mam Nonhlanhla for those who can’t make it to the live events. Stay tuned for details on how and when to join in!

Momentum is building in this campaign, and we can see our pressure is working with South32 finally agreeing to come to the table. But we can’t stop yet.

If we can get a huge crowd out to these events in Sydney and Melbourne, including members of the public that are new to the campaign, it will send a powerful message to South32 that Australians are watching. We won’t rest until the women of Phola have seen justice. Hope you can make it! In solidarity, Lucy and the ActionAid Australia team

actionaid · Facebook Instagram · YouTube

ActionAid Australia · Level 2 Suite 2 10 Mallett St · Camperdown · NSW 2050 · Australia ): RSVP to a Storytelling Night on Tuesday 20 November at Redfern Town Hall

Comments

You need to be logged in to comment.

How coal mining is impacting the women of Phola in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Australia has one of the largest global mining footprints in the world, with Australian companies currently operating many fossil fuel projects in low income countries.

From the sites of coal, oil and gas extraction to the places where natural disasters are becoming more ferocious and frequent, it is women who bear the brunt of the adverse consequences of the fossil fuel industry.

Mpumalanga province in South Africa is one such region that has been heavily impacted by coal mining. As of December 2016, 60% percent of the land in the province was being mined or under exploration [1]. The town of Phola in Mpumalanga is close to several large coal mines, including the Klipspruit mine that is owned and operated by South Africa Energy Coal, a subsidiary of Perth headquartered and ASX listed company South32.

The Greater Phola Ogies Women’s Forum is organising with local women to document the impacts of these mines on women’s rights, and demand that the multinational mining companies responsible are held to account.

According to Yvonne Sampear, the coordinator of the Greater Phola Ogies Women’s Forum:

- Women are sidelined when mining companies come in, they don’t even consult women…most often they consult the men and the chiefs.

- Mining companies have a huge impact on our lives as women who are living in mining affected communities. The mining companies are exploiting us. They are also making us sick by polluting our water. Our air is also polluted, water is contaminated, the soil is also contaminated.

- Land now is limited. Most of the land belongs to them. Women can’t do agriculture anymore, because we don’t have land anymore…At the end of the day, your energy, your water, your land - it’s a women’s issue because we make the fire to sustain our family and livelihood.

Holding decision-makers responsible for past and ongoing adverse impacts caused by South32’s mine may soon become complicated for the women of Phola. In November 2017, South32 announced its intention to separate its South African coal projects, managed under its subsidiary South Africa Energy Coal, into a stand-alone business and gradually divest ownership [2]. At the same time, South32 is planning an extension to Klipspruit mine that will extend the life of the mine by up to 20 years [3].

If the Australian Government wants to keep its commitments to support gender equality in the region, act on climate change, uphold human rights, and ensure the responsible conduct of Australian companies operating overseas – our politicians must take action now.

We’re calling on the Government to stop funding fossil fuel projects, and ensure Australian companies uphold women’s rights everywhere they operate.

The Indymedia Network

Global
Oceania
Latin America
Europe
Africa
Canada
United States
East Asia
South Asia
West Asia