The issue of mining rights and the voice of the communities in the proposed mining areas will be in the spotlight in the North Gauteng High Court this week.
The Amadiba Crisis Committee is approaching the court to make a finding on existing mining legislation that it believes states a mining right cannot be issued without the consent of the affected community. This relates to the proposed titanium mining in the dunes in Xholobeni.
The Department of Mineral Resources is the respondent in the matter.
A section of the Xolobeni community on the Wild Coast of Mbizana are opposed to the titanium mining proposal, arguing it will take away people’s land and ruin the environment.
More than 20 years after the discovery of titanium in the dunes of Xholobeni this group of residents from that region rejects the plans to mine it. They see it as an exploitation of their land and its natural resources. They are on their way to Pretoria to show support for their legal bid.
They want the prospecting mining licence issued by the government to the Australian company withdrawn.
“We don’t want this because it means we must give them our land for 22 years but after those 22 years we will never be able to use our land for good. We are able to develop ourselves through agriculture we don’t want any mining in our area as it is going to kill us,” says Amadiba Crisis Committee member, Nonhle Mbuthuma.
But the issue has divided the community.
The Xholobeni empowerment company say the proposed mining will bring much needed development that will eradicate poverty by creating jobs. It is expected the court ruling will set a precedent and give clarity as to how much say communities have in proposed mining activities.
The hearing is set to start on Monday and three days has been aside for it.