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DA also welcomes Xolobeni mine ruling in favour of Eastern Cape community

Nov 22, 2018
DA also welcomes Xolobeni mine ruling in favour of Eastern Cape community

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Thursday said that it welcomes the historic ruling in favour of the Amadiba Crisis Committee and the people of the Umgungundlovu area of Xolobeni on the Wild Coast.

The Pretoria High Court on Thursday ruled that the Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, will have to obtain full and formal consent from the Xolobeni community prior to granting mining rights.

Mantashe has made an effort to engage the Amadiba Crisis Committee to discuss the Xolobeni mine matter as part of his engagements within the mining sector.

The Xolobeni mine is a proposed titanium mine, which will be on the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast and run by Transworld, initially a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Australian corporation, Mineral Commodities.

The mine would be one of the largest mines of its kind in South Africa and would be a need investment into the Eastern Cape economy.

However, the proposed mine has been met with tough opposition from local communities and environmentalists.

Over the past decade, the Xolobeni mine debate has been overshadowed by allegations of assassinations, intimidation and even reports of the number of people in favour of the project being exaggerated.

'Xolobeni mine ruling brings closure to community'

"The court declared that the mineral resources minister must obtain consent from the community, as the holder of rights on land, prior to granting any mining rights," said Andrew Whitfield (MPL), Shadow MEC for Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

"This judgement has hopefully brought closure to a community that has been fighting against the exploitation of their land for more than a decade."

Whitfield also said that the ruling also flies in the face of comments made by MEC Oscar Mabuyane in the DEDEAT Portfolio Committee last week, where he said this matter was a foregone conclusion and that he fully supports the actions of Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe.

"The area has been plagued by conflict over the proposed mine and has seen every dirty trick imaginable being used to secure mining rights, including the falsifying of lists of members in support of the project," he added.

"This ruling has given the people of Xolobeni a voice in what happens to their land, giving them security of tenure on the land on which they live and farm."

Image: Courtesy of the Legal Resources Centre @LRC_SouthAfrica via Twitter.