Sustaining the Wild Coast
SAFCEI’s Kate and Bishop Geoff Davies were founding members of Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) in 2002. Geoff was a Bishop of the Diocese of Umzimvubu at the time. When they heard of plans for an N2 Wild Coast toll road and coastal dune mining, they knew that these plans would be highly detrimental to the coastal communities as well as to the quite spectacular Wild Coast. The Pondo people have lived independently and have adapted themselves to this magnificent part of South Africa. There are only half a dozen places in the world where waterfalls plunge straight into the ocean. Four of them are on the Wild Coast. Not only does the coastline have magnificent beaches, lagoons, ravines and waterfalls, it is a centre of botanical endemism with over 200 plants found nowhere else in the world. Mkambati Nature Reserve is “one of God’s gems”!
The Pondo people’s land and their democratic rights are at stake. The development of mining for titanium and other heavy metals, though bringing vast wealth for BEE mining magnets and an Australian mining company, would employ a handfull of local labourers and destroy the Pondo ancestral coastal lands forever.
SWC’s purpose is to promote sustainable livelihoods that conserve, rehabilitate and protect the natural environment that provides the ecosystem services on which rural people depend. This is done by means of knowledge sharing, advocacy, research and the execution of programmes directed towards the promotion of community based insights into what action is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of livelihoods of people who depend on the Wild Coast region. SAFCEI has supported SWC with fundraising for legal action against the planned toll road and spreading information.