Amplats reaches deal with S.African tribal leader in community fund row – by Ed Stoddard (Reuters Africa – January 9, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African tribal leader has agreed to a more transparent structure for a 175 million rand ($14 million) community trust funded by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), a move that aims to curb unrest around the firm’s most profitable mine.

The changes relate to the Mapela Trust, which was set up to fund development projects in communities around Amplats’ Mogalakwena operation, the world’s largest open-pit platinum mine and the Anglo American unit’s main cash spinner.

The structure of the fund has proved a flashpoint, with local communities saying the way cash was spent has not transparent and too much authority was given to the local chief, known as Kgoshi, to determine where money was invested.

Protests over two years ago temporarily closed the mine and community leaders had threatened more action to demand changes.

Lawyers representing local communities told Reuters a deal between Amplats and the tribal chief had been reached. “There is a significant dilution of the chief’s power across the board,” Johan Lorenzen, one of the lawyers, said.

For the rest of this article: