The government has failed to respond to objections raised by human rights workers and environmental organizations to protect the Wild Coast from mining.
The Legal Resources Centre has also delivered a scathingly incisive and outright repudiation of mining concession rights within the delicate (and legally protected) ecosystem of the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE).
We demand a response, and end to the uncertainty!
After many years of pressure against a pro-mining government and Australian based Mineral Commodities (MRC) with their local subsidiary Transworld Energy & Minerals (TEM), concerned human rights lawyers, social workers, environmentalists, and local residents breathed a sigh of relief when the mining license, granted in 2008, was revoked in May 2011 due to failure to comply with regulations, substantial breaches and failures in public consultation processes, and allegations of bribery and corruption. TEM was then given 3 months to address the issues and reapply, but failed to do so for almost an entire year.
Unfortunately, the same Australian mining company MRC Ltd through its local subsidiary is trying once again to exploit both South Africa's people and habitat in the name of short term profit.
A new Prospecting Rights Application has been lodged for the Kwanyana Block of the Wild Coast. This is an outrage! We DEMAND that the South African Government honour its international commitment to conserve biodiversity, that it declares the Wild Coast a No-Go area for mining once and for all, and that it supports local residents in their revival of eco-tourism development for sustainable livelihoods.
The area where the strip mining is proposed is the traditional homeland of the Amadiba people, a community under the leadership of King Sigcau and Queen MaSobhuza of Pondoland, who are also vehemently opposed to the mining, and have been dethroned by the SA government as a result.
The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) said in a statement that it was outraged that the community again faced a mining application even after Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu revoked Transworld Energy and Minerals' (TEM) mining rights last year. The application "comes at a time where we were just managing to get the eco-tourism venture back on track, after (pro-mining) members had actively worked to undermine it because its success conflicted with their ambitions to mine coastal dunes".
In addition to its natural beauty and tourism appeal, the Xolobeni area where the strip mining is proposed to take place is within the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE).
The PCE is an internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot with over 2000 plant species (196 of which have been identified as endemic, to date) within just 18,800 hectares.
As signatory to the international Convention on Biological Diversity, the South African government is reneging on its international commitments, and also violating numerous mainstays of its Constitution, which are meant to safeguard the environment and to preserve local culture and traditions. The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty to sustain the rich diversity of life on Earth.*
FURTHER READING http://www.iol.co.za/business/companies/wild-coast-king-fights-mining-1.1305634 http://mg.co.za/article/2011-06-07-wild-coast-mining-rights-revoked
/ http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2011/06/14/victory-for-the-future http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=173716
(Xolobeni will have to do battle again and again against titanium miners) http://www.wildcoast.co.za/xolobeni http://allafrica.com/stories/201206220076.html
(Sabotaging Sustainable Development)
"Mining the Pondoland Wild Coast is the moral, cultural and aesthetic equivalent of quarrying Ayers Rock for granite, or the Great Barrier Reef for calcium carbonate." ~Richard Spoor