The community of Xolobeni village in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape has expressed mixed reactions ahead of the visit of Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe to the area.
Xolobeni residents are divided over the granting of a mining license to a company to mine titanium on the wild coast sand dunes.
The anti-mining group says its confused as to why the Minister is visiting the area amidst a pending Constitutional Court ruling on the hugely disputed issue.
“We say ‘No’ to mining, and we do not want the benefits, and we have many reasons why we do not want the mine… because the mining is going to take our ancestral land, it’s going to take our livelihood, destroy the environment that is part of us living here. And even if they are talking about compensation, you cannot compensate when you destroy the environment because the environment makes us live in a better way,” said Xolobeni Crisis Committee Spokesperson Nontle Mbuthuma.
The pro-mining group says it is looking forward to the Minister’s visit.
A representative of the group, Basheen Qunya says they will make submissions in favour of the mining.
“I am very happy to see the visit of the Minister and we will put a lot of inputs to him to make sure that mining will go ahead. The mining is very important and I think the mining can boost the economic and also to improve the lives of the people of Mbizana and even the people of Xolobeni as well, in terms of employment, better life, infrastructure , education and skills as well.”