Bafokeng Platinum mine, South Africa


The Royal Bafokeng Nation also owns one of South Africas largest community-based investment companies, which channels revenue derived from platinum deposits into a broad investment portfolio that in turn funds an aggressive social development program for 150,000 people living in twenty-nine rural villages.

See more...
Basic Data
NameBafokeng Platinum mine, South Africa
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceNorth West Province
SiteRustenburg Local Municipality
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesPlatinum
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsSouth Africa provides 71% of global demand for platinum.

So far the mine has milled 2375 kt of platinum.

Project Area (in hectares)2000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population5000-10000
Company Names or State EnterprisesAnglo American Brasil from United Kingdom
Anglo American from United Kingdom
Royal Bafokeng Holdings from South Africa
Royal Bafokeng Nation from South Africa
Relevant government actorsDepartment of Minerals and Energy, Department of Land Reform and Rural Development, Rustenburg Local Municipality
International and Financial InstitutionsThe World Bank (WB) from United States of America
International Monetary Fund (FMI)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLegal Resources Centre; Benchmarks South Africa; Bafokeng Land Buyers Association
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Shareholder/financial activism.
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesLand Restitution, equity shareholding, observance of traditional rules
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The traditional authority employs its security company to harass and intimidate activist leaders into submission. It is the intention of the traditional authority to change the traditional systems in favour of unsustainable, destructive mining operations.
Sources and Materials

Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, Restitution of Land Rights Act, Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act


North West High Court case Setuke vs Royal Bafokeng Nation

Map of proposed mining projects within the Bafokeng area

Media Links

[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorOthusitse Rapoo
Last update08/04/2014