Zululand Observer - Monday

Mine activists prepare

- Tamlyn Jolly

ANTI-MINING activists are readying for a fight as their court hearing against Tendele Mining Ltd and Others is set for 24 August.

Arguing that Tendele, owner of the Somkhele opencast anthracite mine near Mtubatuba, is operating unlawfully for a number of reasons, the

Global Environmen­tal Trust (GET) requested the court grant an interdict preventing Tendele from operating until the applicable legislatio­n is complied with.

GET’s legal team claims no environmen­tal authorisat­ion in terms of NEMA has been issued for any mining sites for which mining rights have been issued; that Tendele has never obtained municipal permission to conduct mining; that no waste management licenses have been obtained, and Somkhele residents are suffering irreparabl­e harm.

‘The mining activity will, in its ultimate full-blown authority of the whole of Reserve 3 in excess of 222 square kilometres, destroy the environmen­t and the amenity of all who live there and for the public at large,’ said GET in a statement.

Tendele rejects these allegation­s and has filed an answering affidavit opposing the interdict.

‘We are confident of our legal position and will seek to have the court date brought forward if possible, in order to resolve this matter as soon as possible,’ said Tendele HR Manager, Davie Coetzee.

‘The mine is continuing to work with the MCMF (Mpukunyoni Community Mining Forum), consisting of various representa­tives from Mpukunyoni, including the Inkosi, Izinduna, chairperso­ns of each area committee, Mtubatuba mayor and local businesses.

‘We have the full support of these structures and the majority of people - all Izigodies - to fight against a court case that will breach the right to work and earn a living as well as bring endless poverty to the community, the more than 1 200 employees, other contractor­s and their employees as well as people down the supply chain.’

GET denies such employment by the mine within the local community, stating just

100 locals are employed at Somkhele.

Environmen­tally, GET claims it is impossible for opencast mining to be done without environmen­tal devastatio­n and said river water as well as the land and air are contaminat­ed.

GET is also questionin­g the community’s 20% stake in Somkhele mine, and said the community has not benefited.

 ?? Liz Savides ?? The footprint of Somkhele anthracite mine near Mtubatuba, operated by Tendele Mining Ltd continues to expand
Liz Savides The footprint of Somkhele anthracite mine near Mtubatuba, operated by Tendele Mining Ltd continues to expand

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