Government misleading Xolobeni residents - Amadiba Crisis Committee

Xolobeni resident and spokesperson for the crises committee Nonhle Mbuthuma says government is handling the matter in bad faith by trying to marginalise the affected community in efforts to go ahead with the project.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe briefs media on the gazetting of the Mining Charter. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Civil society organisation Amadiba Crisis Committee says it believes government is misleading Xolobeni community members to ensure an Australian mining company is granted a license to mine in the area despite residents’ opposition.

Last weekend a community meeting resulted in tear gas and stun grenades being used to disperse community members opposed to this specific mining project.

Attorney Richard Spoor, who is representing 70 families living in Xolobeni opposed to the mining in the area, says the community is not against development but has an issue with this particular mining company which he says has a dodgy track record of destructive mining in other parts of Africa.

“We’re unhappy about the way they’ve set up their e-structures, we’re not happy about the way they have rigged the process in their favour, bought people over and created conflicts and disputed in the
community.”

Xolobeni resident and spokesperson for the crises committee Nonhle Mbuthuma says government is handling the matter in bad faith by trying to marginalise the affected community in efforts to go ahead with the project.

“They must stop confusing the situation here. People here in Xolobeni do want tourism but they know that mining and tourism can’t coexist because once you bring mining, there is no place or tourism. Now they just keep lying to say they can coexist.”

Spoor says the moratorium preventing mining in the Xolobeni expires in December and should the Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe grant the mining license, the department can expect further legal action.