"I raised my five siblings without any financial support for five years. When Patrick found me and said we qualified to receive my father's pension pay out, I cried for two days. I had given up hope."
"Sister Ntabiseng at the One Stop Centre made all the difference for me in getting my compensation."
"My debt had impacted my relationship with my son, he never used to want to sit with me at dinner. He thought I was a failure. Now that I have my finance under control we spend time together like we used to."
"People don't go to work to get injured. They go work to provide, to take care of the people they love."
"There needs to be a greater sense of urgency so that we help more people. The people we are helping are desperate and one day is the difference between having a roof over your head and having your home repossessed."
"There is good mining. We do have done a lot for the people we impact but it is not enough. We need to do more, we need to win the battle for hearts and minds"
Ladies and Gentlemen
The documentary you have just viewed raises, for me, some profound questions about our industry. The years I have spent as a Chamber of Mines office bearer, and particularly the last three years as president, have caused me to think more and more and more beyond the mine gate.
As I have told you before, and am always ready to tell anyone, I love mining. As you may have noticed, I plan to do even more mining in the future. I'm not sure my appetite for mining will ever be sated, just because it means so much to me.
Mining is the foundation of almost every aspect of life: If it's not grown, it's mined.
I know there are those who are so angry with, or disillusioned by, the mining industry that they would simply like it to cease. That of course cannot and will not happen as mining is necessary for the fundamentals of modern life.
The stories that were told in the documentary represent small cameos of three people, three families, whose lives have been touched by mining. In some cases the mining industry has been a direct cause of illness and hardship. In others it has been complicit in allowing a situation to continue unchecked. Or in others, its absence has simply been as a lack of knowledge, engagement or even care.
But, does that mean that there is no good in mining? I would say no – absolutely not. We see its good in so many big and small ways every day.
But, because we see the good, does not mean that we must not see the bad...
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Vanessa La Trobe
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