Residents of mining areas testified at the high-level panel on assessment of key legislation and acceleration of fundamental change about the acute disruptions caused in their lives and livelihoods by mining and their concerns are dealt with in several recommended amendments to legislation. The residents’ problems are compounded by the role of traditional leaders who have assumed ownership of communal property and therefore the right to enter into commercial deals without consulting their populations, the panel says in its report. There are reports of forced removals in the wake of mining deals. The panel says that to advance transformation, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act has established that mineral resources are not owned by landowners, but are the common heritage of all South African citizens, with the state as the custodian. "To make this meaningful, the [act] abolished landowners’ rights to say no to mining on their land. While intended to advance transform...

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