South Africa: Community Won't Back Down in Fight Against Expansion of Tendele Coal Mine in KZN, Despite Taking a Legal Beating


Community and environmental groups took a beating - twice - when they challenged a major mining company in the courts. But they remain determined to fight all the way to the Constitutional Court.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

It takes a brave legal team to contest a 4-1 majority ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal. But that is the decision taken by a group of lawyers representing groups opposed to the expansion of one of South Africa's biggest anthracite coal mines. Their position is that government has a constitutional duty to safeguard their health and the environment by providing carefully considered authorisation for all major developments - including mining industry activities that have long been shielded from direct oversight by the Department of Environmental Affairs.

But while this battle drags on in the genteel atmosphere of courtrooms, the people affected by 14 years of mining in the Somkhele area near Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal have been living with water and air pollution. They have been pulled apart by violent conflicts, lost homes and farming land and faced the murder of 63-year-old anti-mining campaigner, Mam' Fikile Ntshangase, by three unknown gunmen in October last year.

Earlier this...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.