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'Government committed to finding solution to Xolobeni mine matter'

Dec 5, 2018
'Government committed to finding solution to Xolobeni mine matter'

Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe, says government remains committed to finding amicable solutions to the Xolobeni mine matter on that had pitted government against communities on the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast.

The Xolobeni mine is a proposed titanium mine, which will be on the 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.

In a historic judgement in November, the Pretoria High Court ruled that government cannot grant mining rights to companies without the consent of the local communities.

Mantashe had intended to engage community on Xolobeni mine matter this weekend

“The Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, at his initiative, convened a meeting with the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) on 17 November 2018, with the express aim of hearing their views.

“At the meeting, the ACC requested the Minister to return to Xolobeni and engage the broader community, to which Minister Mantashe acceded,” said the Department of Mineral Resources on Tuesday.

Mantashe had intended to return to Xolobeni this weekend but has since postponed his visit to allow stakeholders more time to prepare.

Mantashe has also interacted with Richard Spoor, the legal representative of the ACC, on these matters.

The department said Spoor’s statement issued to the media was “rather unfortunate and disingenuous regarding the Minister’s intentions”.

The department bemoaned the statement, further saying it was highly irresponsible and “can only serve to fuel tensions in the community”. 

“As it is the ministry’s commitment and practice, details of the Minister’s visit to Xolobeni - like in other cases - will be communicated by the department to stakeholders, including members of the media,” the department said. -additional reporting SAnews.gov.za

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