TRANSPARENCY COSTS NOTHING - VAAL COMMUNITIES DEMAND SUBSTANTIVE CONSULTATION AND FULL DISCLOSURE FROM AMSA AT 2020 AGM

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/6hFoUqPncifZz7Ur9K92tUUO3XAejx_eAzoVDZWsBaA5s76cqPWwcqFE9O8EQ-kWCG8dz8JJyadBFps5NTmWEpjIS6U8E7_0hqjHkeXJmFfPqiSl7aTGp0Yom7YlTg 
26 June 2020 - For several years, AMSA has failed to comply with its air emission licence (AEL) conditions. Communities living in the Vaal Triangle Airshed Priority Area (VTAPA) have long suffered the effects and have been vocal about the harmful impact of air and other pollution on their health, wellbeing, as well as the infringement of their constitutional right to a healthy environment.  Once again, at the 2020 AGM, community activists demand accountability from Africa’s largest steel producer and the third highest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa.

WHAT: Vaal environmental community activist confront ArcelorMittal at 2020 AGM  
WHEN: Tuesday, 30 June 2020 
WHERE: Online details to be confirmed  
WHO: Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA) and the Life After Coal (LAC) coalition  
WHY: Amidst a global pandemic, which has crippled world systems as well as exposed inefficiency and inadequacies in government institutions, civil society and community activists are forced to confront the double crises of Covid-19 as well as the biggest challenge for mankind in the present century, climate change and its deadly impacts, mainly air pollution.  

AMSA’s operations violate various laws and cause detrimental environmental pollution, resulting in harm to surrounding communities. AMSA’s Vanderbijlpark operation is located in the Vaal Triangle Airshed Priority Area (VTAPA), which was declared the first High Priority Area (HPA) by the Department of Environmental Affairs in 2006. Since then nothing has changed in terms of compliance with ambient air quality standards that harm people’s health. 

For many years AMSA has chosen to ignore communities and refused to disclose their environmental plans to reduce their pollution to the people of Sebokeng, Boipatong, Boiphelong ,Sharpeville and beyond.  Once again, affected communities have no choice but to leverage the AGM platform in order to demand  their right to a healthy environment is not infringed upon.

 

FURTHER RESOURCES:

AMSA 2019 Factsheet
https://mg.co.za/article/2019-06-04-arcelormittal-facing-criminal-charges-for-alleged-breach-of-pollution-licence
https://arcelormittalsa.com/Sustainability/Maintainingourlicencetooperate/MandatoryAuditReports.aspx

CONTACTS:
Lerato Balendran, CER Head of Communications, lbalendran@cer.org.za
Tsepang Molefe, groundWork, Media Information and Publications Campaign Manager, media@groundwork.org.za