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Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) welcomes today’s judgement that the residents of Umgungundlovu have the right to say no to mining on their land. We have witnessed the long journey of resistance that the affected community has travelled to reach this important recognition of the Right2SayNO, and the way in which the Xolobeni struggle has inspired similar mining threatened and affected communities to understand and resist the devastation that mining causes to both people and our environment.

 

We remember Bazooka Radebe and others whose lives were cut short in the long struggle to achieve the victory won today, and continue to call on government to ensure that investigations into Bazooka’s assassination are brought to their proper conclusion.

 

Extractive industries in a globalised world are wreaking havoc on the earth and the struggle of the Umgungundlovu community is emblematic of the role that indigenous communities are playing in teaching us that humans need to find new ways to live in order to survive the current crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and general environmental degradation that our consumer culture and growth economy are causing.

 

We look forward to continuing our work of supporting the Umgungundlovu community in building a sustainable local economy based on principles of responsible development and respect for people and their connection to their land. In this, we also call on government to give credence to their role of creating an enabling and conducive environment to allow not only the right to say “No!” but also the right to say “Yes!” to development that is informed by local priorities and led by local communities, rather than the short term interests of global corporates and political leaders.

 

We look forward to future thriving of the already successful agriculture of the Umgungundlovu residents and to the ongoing revival of community tourism that flourished during the time of the award winning and community led Amadiba Adventures project that was destroyed by those intent on mining. We will work together with Umgungundlovu residents and other stakeholders for increased protection of the Pondoland coastal area, including the world renowned Pondoland Centre of Endemism.

 

See:

http://www.durban-direct.com/adventure/amadiba-adventures https://www.facebook.com/132594913894349/posts/495334980953672/ http://www.conservation.org/global/ci_south_africa/where-we-work/maputaland-pondoland-al bany/Pages/maputaland-pondoland-albany-hotspot.aspx

 

As stated by the Amadiba Crisis Committee today: “the same (Umgungundlovu) community will be in court on 3 December against SANRAL to stop the N2 toll road from splitting their land and destroying their community livelihood, and ask for a better and cheaper detour of N2”. We call on government and SANRAL to engage and find a solution that will ensure optimum protection of the land and human rights of the Umgungundlovu residents. A four lane highway through Umgungundlovu will have extreme negative impacts on this unique and ecologically sensitive area.

 

In the words of Nobuntu Mazeka of SWC: “Let today’s victory be a reminder and a warning to South Africa, Africa and the world that mining and other projects cannot, and must not be inflicted on affected communities without their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and that the Amadiba people of Umgungundlovu are proud custodians of the land.”

 

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free,_prior_and_informed_consent http://www.fao.org/indigenous-peoples/our-pillars/fpic/en/

 

For further information please contact:

 

Sustaining the Wild Coast:

Nobuntu Mazeka 0760520613 or 0633383944

Margie Pretorius 0828739053

 

Amadiba Crisis Committee:

Spokesperson: Nonhle Mbuthuma 0763592982 (on WhatsApp from 14.00 today) Chairperson: Sbusiso Mqadi 0634964074; (present in Pretoria outside court)

 

Lawyers:

Richard Spoor 083 627 1722 and Johan Lorenzen 079 654 5038 (Richard Spoor Inc.); Henk

Smith (Henk Smith & Associates) 083 266 1770.