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Mineral Resources Dept dismisses claim it's buying Xolobeni residents with food parcels

Jan 25, 2019
Mineral Resources Dept dismisses claim it's buying Xolobeni residents with food parcels

The Department of Mineral Resources on Thursday rejected claims that it is distributing food parcels to appease the Eastern Cape community involved in the Xolobeni mining matter.

“The department has noted with concern false claims from the Amadiba Crisis Committee that the department is involved in a ‘campaign’ in Xolobeni through distribution of food parcels ahead of the independent survey announced by the Minister of Mineral Resources,” it said in a statement.

It further added that it has no knowledge of the claims and appealed to the Amadiba Crisis Committee to desist from spreading false information and misleading the public.

“All affected parties will be duly notified when the survey commences,” it said.

Mantashe announces independent survey on Xolobeni mining

Last week, Minister Gwede Mantashe announced the imminent commencement of an independent survey to be undertaken in Xolobeni. The survey, which is intended to establish if mining will proceed in that area, will commence in the next few weeks.

The announcement of the survey followed the Minister’s second meeting with the broader community.

The survey is in line with one of the outcomes of the court judgment of the High Court in North Gauteng last year, which called for thorough consultation of the Xolobeni community prior to any granting of a mining right.

Announcing the survey, Mantashe said based on the outcomes of the survey, “we will then take a firm decision on the way forward”.

“If the community says no, there will be no mining. If the community says yes, mining will proceed. If mining goes ahead in Xolobeni, it must be sustainable and coexist with tourism, agriculture and other economic development initiatives,” he said at the time.

The debate on Xolobeni was sparked when an Australian mining company was granted a licence to mine in the area. The matter has been hanging from 2002.

Activists launch Eastern Cape Rural Activist Rural Development Programme

 

Meanwhile, 80 activists from 17 rural people’s movements across the Eastern Cape gather at the inaugural activist school to initiate and launch the Eastern Cape Rural Activist Rural Development Programme.

"As the organisers of the school, we salute the gallant people of Xolobeni and the fighting Amadiba Crisis Committee for their resolute, sustained and principled action in defence of the land, people-driven development from below, democratic customary rights and ecological sustainability.

"We will use the school to learn more about the Xolobeni struggle," said one organiser.

– additional reporting SAnews.gov.za

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