Lead Researcher in the Natural Resource Governance Programme at Good Governance Africa, Busisipho Siyobi speaks to Co-founder and Spokesperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, Nonhle Mbuthuma, who represents the Xolobeni community.
Mbuthuma says, “We are not anti-development. We are for development, but mining is not the type of development that we want to see take place here. We do have agriculture here. We do have eco-tourism here. We have reasons why we chose those two. Those two are sustainable. They will sustain us. We know that once you allow mining, it’s short term, it doesn’t matter if it employs so many people, but the damage it is going to leave behind is too much and is irreversible. That is why we said we are not looking for benefits from mining, and we are hoping that the Australian company are going to listen when we say it, because we told them that we are not interested in this type of development. If they want to develop us, they must develop the eco-tourism and agriculture that we have here, not put a new development that is going to destroy the existing development that we have here.”
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Nonhle Mbuthuma is the spokesperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee of the Xolobeni community, situated on the Wild Coast, in the Eastern Cape. The Xolobeni community’s struggle began early in 1996 when a foreign mining company discovered titanium along the coast. The committee, formed in 2007, is fighting for community land rights and the environment, as well as trying to ensure human rights are not violated in the name of development. So far, the committee has triumphed in two cases against the mining company.