Cobus Loots. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Cobus Loots. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Construction of Pan African Resources’ R1.7bn project in SA to produce gold from mine dumps has been halted the past two days because of protests and assaults on its workers, its CEO said on Thursday.

Such protests are a common feature on SA’s platinum belt, where deals with traditional leaders have triggered community resentment, but the gold sector has generally escaped such disruptions.

Cobus Loots told Reuters that a community group demanding jobs and business opportunities was behind the protests, and the company hoped to restart construction at the project, which aims to begin producing gold in the second half of 2018, as soon as possible.

"It’s a pity that a small group of people with their own agendas are disrupting, a project which is so beneficial for the whole area," Loots said.

The protests are taking place around the Elikhulu project in Evander.

Loots said the group’s demands included the provision of procurement opportunities for local entrepreneurs but he said the company was "already doing that".

He said the community group behind the protests was called Sivukile, which is a signatory to the agreement and part of the steering committee on the project. Its leaders could not be reached for comment.


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