Dingleton relocation


A view of Dingleton with Sishen Mine’s south-western dumps in the left of the frame

Kumba’s medium-term goal is to increase the iron ore production from its Northern Cape operations to 50Mtpa by 2013. This will be accomplished by the output from Sishen Mine’s jig plant (production of 13Mt reached in 2010) and when Kolomela Mine starts production in 2012, ramping up to 9Mtpa in 2013.

At Sishen Mine, this level of production will result in increased mining activity especially in the southern and western areas of the current open-pit. The pit boundary represents the limit beyond which no further mining can occur. Legislation stipulates that no human settlement is allowed within 500m of an open-pit boundary.

The township of Dingleton was constructed in the 1950s by the state owned mining company Iscor to accommodate Sishen Mine personnel. The houses were sold to individuals in the early 1980s. Currently 80% of the freehold properties are not owned by Kumba.

Mining activities close to the town of Dingleton led to complaints from residents. This discontent raised an unofficially sanctioned expectation that the residents would be relocated. Town infrastructure is old and in disrepair.

During 2007, in response to requests from the Dingleton community, the boards of Sishen Iron Ore Company (SIOC) and Kumba agreed in principle to investigate the feasibility of relocating Dingleton residents and the associated town infrastructure.

The respective boards made it clear that the relocation would only proceed if three key requirements are met.

  1. The overwhelming majority of Dingleton residents must be in favour of moving (this has been established – refer to last year’s Sustainable Development Review).
  2. Local, district and provincial governments must approve the conditions for the resettlement project.
  3. Kumba must be convinced that the resettlement project is feasible and complies with best practice for the resettlement of communities.




At the prefeasibility stage, Kumba and its partners sought to investigate two options:

  • Option 1: No resettlement option includes the upgrading of the Dingleton infrastructure and health and safety improvement initiatives.
  • Option 2: Full resettlement requiring the construction of a new village and associated infrastructure. This option allows for demolishing of the town and the removal of all infrastructure.

A project process was decided upon using the International Finance Corporation guidelines as a basis. At the time of writing, the project is entering the feasibility phase.

During the prefeasibility stage, it was necessary to establish the degree to which the residents of Dingleton would be prepared to resettle, the conditions under which resettlement would appear to be feasible and the costs associated with the resettlement. All the pre-feasibility study requirements have been completed, including: social impact baseline assessment, baseline asset inventory survey, environmental impact assessment and an economic impact assessment. These will inform the final Resettlement Action Plan (RAP).

Dingleton locality map

The feasibility phase, which began during the year, will see the RAP finalised and approved. Simultaneously the houses and other structures will be designed and cost estimates will be updated to the required accuracy levels. Final tenders will also be obtained for demolishing the old houses and infrastructure, for the erection of the new houses and other buildings and for moving the households of Dingleton to the new residences.

The Dingleton relocation will also be incorporated into the mine’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and Social Development Plan (SDP).

During the execution phase, the RAP will be updated and the final compensation of all affected persons resolved. The new houses and social structures will be erected and the community will be moved as soon as these structures are ready. The sustainable development plan will be finalised and implemented. The town of Dingleton together with all related infrastructure will be demolished and the area cleared of all rubble.

Dingleton resettlement working group action plan

This plan was agreed upon by the DRWG and Kumba and also by the Northern Cape Government Joint Steering Committee.
It was communicated to the community of Dingleton and accepted.

View enlarged image


Resettlement Working Group

The Resettlement Working Group (RWG) is the primary consultative forum comprising the residents of Dingleton, the Kumba project team and representatives from local and provincial government. Its purpose is to investigate the feasibility of the resettlement and to produce a resettlement action plan. It is required to provide advice to both Kumba and the Northern Cape government.

All primary stakeholders are represented on the RWG. The RWG is constituted as an advisory panel and its recommendations are not necessarily binding, however, recommendations of the RWG are duly recorded and become a matter of public record.

The RWG consists of:

  • Six members from Dingleton (three men and three women)
  • At least four members from the municipality (including two ward councillors and a technical manager)
  • Three members from provincial government
  • Two members from Kumba
  • The appointed consultants in an advisory capacity.

Joint Steering Committee

The government, at both municipal and provincial level, has three main responsibilities. The first is that of oversight; the second is to provide access to technical support where available and the third is to facilitate the process.

The committee was formed from representatives of local, district and provincial governments as well as representatives from the RWG and Kumba Iron Ore.

Independent monitoring and evaluation specialist

As part of this process Kumba appointed an independent consulting firm to provide monitoring and advisory support to Kumba’s Resettlement Management Committee. The consultant’s opinion is
that the Resettlement Working Group’s governance during the prefeasibility phase was successful and satisfies the principles of free, prior and informed consent.

Resettlement project team

The composition of the project team varies from stage to stage of the process. During the implementation or execution phase, it will comprise those responsible for constructing infrastructure.


Two new sites have been identified for resettlement. Both are in the town of Kathu. The preferred site (1 on the photograph) is to the south east of Kathu, alongside the Postmasburg – Kuruman road. Dingleton residents subsequently voted for a preferred site; the majority indicated a preference for site 1.

Dingleton – proposed new settlement sites


Kumba is busy with the appointment of a number of consultants to assist with the compilation of the scope of the technical work for the relocation: town planner, architect, surveyor, electrical engineer, civil engineer and demolition contractors. In addition, financial and legal advisors to assist residents with decision-making are in the process of being appointed.