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Mantashe says Xolobeni ruling could pose threat to mining in SA

The court ruled on Thursday that the Mineral Resources Minister can’t issue a mining right in Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape without the consent of communities and residents.

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

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says the North Gauteng High Court judgment on Xolobeni could pose a threat to mining in South Africa.

The court ruled on Thursday that the Mineral Resources Minister can’t issue a mining right in Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape without the consent of communities and residents.

The ruling comes after years of a tug of war between the government, mining companies and communities in the area.

Speaking from his office in Parliament, Mantashe says mining has received a bad rep among South Africans and this could be detrimental for the economy.

“It’s treated like a curse, rather than a blessing. It is not treated as wealth, it is treated more from the negatives. A polluter, these days it’s the deprivation and all those things. That worries me a great deal.”

He says South Africa is endowed with minerals naturally and should not be prevented from tapping into resources.

“We either look into sustaining and preserving mining, or take a clear decision to ban mining in this country and allow those minerals to lie on the ground.”

Mantashe says while they are still studying the ruling, they will appeal certain aspects that require appealing.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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