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SACP Eastern Cape welcomes Xolobeni mining judgement

Nov 26, 2018
SACP Eastern Cape welcomes Xolobeni mining judgement

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape says it welcomes the judgement handed down by the Pretoria High Court on the Xolobeni Mining issue that had divided communities and government on the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast for over a decade.

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.

'Xolobeni mining judgement places power in the hands of communities'

"The court judgement handed down on Thursday, places the power to decide their future firmly in the community’s own hands," explained Siyabonga Mdodi, SACP Eastern Cape Provincial Spokesperson.

"The court judgement affirms the centrality of the voice of the people in any decision making by the government consistently with the Freedom Charter, which says 'The people shall govern'.

"As the SACP, we wish to reaffirm our support to the people of Xolobeni in their resolve to reject the imposed mining coated as development."

He said that it is the SACP Eastern Cape's firm view that any development should be anchored on the will of the people "and not imposed upon the people by the leadership, and that there ought to be consideration of all factors including the environmental impact of the proposed mining".

"The involvement of other interests groups that have assumed leadership we were supposed to play in the first place must not make us desert our people.  

"We wish to reject the emotional sentiments, which seek to suggest that the people’s rejection of the mining on their communal land without their consent and consideration of the environmental impact it may have on their livelihoods," Mdodi said.

"This narrative is absurd as it suggest that the only development for the rural communities can only be mining which will largely benefit the established bourgeoisie, connected elites and exploit the people by fish and chips wages.

"We are calling upon the people’s government to consider the oceans economy amongst other developmental initiatives for the people of Xolobeni and NOT impose the mining for the benefit of the rich.

"We wish to reiterate our call for the law enforcement authorities to investigate allegations of criminality, intimidation to enforce acceptance of the proposed mining."

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