The proposed mining area is sited only 40 metres from the boundary of the pristine iMfolozi Wilderness Area, the first declared wilderness in Africa. It lies within the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (HiP) home to a vast array of wildlife, including the Big Five.
The Wilderness Area has a strong cultural heritage, dating back to the Stone Age. For the Zulu people, it is an important sacred site since before the time of King Shaka. HiP enjoys a reputation as a major tourist attraction and has drawn visitors from all over the world for more than 100 years. This unique wilderness area with such a rich history can never be replaced. South Africa has thousands of mines. It is time to put soul above coal.
Two coal mines already enclose the iMfolozi Park: Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) owned by Rio Tinto, and the Somkhele mine, operating as Tendele and owned by Petmin???. With this application for a third mine, iMfolozi will literally be hemmed in by mining operations. Open-cast coal mining requires a substantial amount of water, and inevitably causes widespread air, noise and water pollution. All this results in irreparable environmental damage.
Our legal strategy is to object all the way to the South African Constitutional Court. Our first victory was the rejection of the inadequate Scoping Report for the Fuleni mine in September 2014. We will continue these challenges at every opportunity.
We strongly contest the rationale of exporting the coal to China, India and Spain, and leaving South Africa with serious environmental impacts and human rights issues that extend from the local communities all the way to theiSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage site on South Africas eastern coastline.
We are working very closely with the four affected Fuleni villages to support their stand against the mine.
A fast-growing movement is opposing the Fuleni mine, as shown by almost 165,000 signatures collected by the Avaaz petition and the Care2 petition. Despite this broad and worldwide opposition, Ibutho Coal Ltd has not withdrawn its application. GET has the support of the local affected communities as it prepares itself to take legal action to safeguard a healthy sustainable environment and a pristine wilderness, originally created as a sanctuary for rhinos.
The launch of the Grrrowd campaign on 17 November 2014 is crucial for our fight for environmental, economic and social justice. We need to show the SA government and Ibutho Coal that the iMfolozi Wilderness Area is sacrosanct and that there is overwhelming international opposition to proceeding with this mining application.
South Africa has no shortage of mines but a unique wilderness area with such a rich history can NEVER be replaced.
- High stakes at Somkhele: Mine relocation row puts lives on the lineMay 15, 2020 Shootings, threats and other violence have ratcheted up tensions in Somkhele where a mine extension has exposed deep fault lines in a poor community. Fred Kockott and Matthew Hattingh report The Mthethwa home, near the Somkhele coal mine in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, was raked by gunfire recently while the family, including… Continue reading
- A Threat More Deadly than Covid-19Keeping safe against Covid-19 is a challenge in Somkhele, where lack of water is a serious issue, but how do you protect yourself against a hail of bullets through your kitchen and bedroom windows after dark where your children are in bed asleep? On Friday, 24 April 2020, a grandmother… Continue reading
- Appeal challenges business as usual attitude of Tendele Coal MineOn Tuesday, 17 September 2019, at 9h30, Judge Seegobin granted the Global Environmental Trust (GET) and the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO) the right to take their matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The attendance at the application for leave to appeal in the Pietermaritzburg High… Continue reading
- Leave to Appeal GrantedThe application by the Global Environmental Trust (GET) and the Mfolozi Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO), for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, has been granted by Judge Rishi Seegobin . The Centre for Environmental Rights was granted the right to intervene as amicus curiae and… Continue reading
- MEDIA RELEASE – Critical High Court Application pushes for mining sector complianceOn Wednesday, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, a strong legal team is determined to ensure the right to appeal the dismissal of GET & MCEJO’s application exposing Tendele coal mine’s lack of compliance with environmental laws and the Constitution, and to ensure the mining sector complies with the law. MEDIA… Continue reading
- uMfolozi Municipality Spatial Development Framework: Mining at Fuleni by iBhuto Coal taken as given!The final Spatial Development Framework for the uMfolozi Municipality has been released. The uMfolozi Municipality stretches from the southern borders of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park to the coast. Map 18 on mining areas shows the area identified for coal mining running along the southern border of the HIP. What is especially… Continue reading
- Asina Loyiko: United against Corporate BullyingAsina Loyiko (We do not fear): United against Corporate Bullying, is a joint advocacy campaign launched on 28 May by civil society organisations to protect our hard-won rights to freedom of expression and legitimate political protest. One of the aims is to counter the use of SLAPP lawsuits by corporates.… Continue reading
- Tribute to a Humble man of CourageOn Thursday, 16 May 2019, in the early hours of the morning just before dawn, Mr Gideon Mbongeni Gumede breathed his last. His extended illness, involving pain in his lungs and difficulty breathing was undiagnosed and became increasingly debilitating. He had become critically ill over the weekend and was admitted… Continue reading
- Tendele threatens to SLAPP GETLate Monday afternoon, 15 April, Youens Attorneys, who act for the Global Environmental Trust (GET), received a letter from Tendele mine’s attorneys stating that a recent post on our websites and social media pages was defamatory in stating that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) report on mining affected… Continue reading
- Update: August 2018 to Now – Status of the Save Our Wilderness campaignThe wise Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, observed more than 2500 years ago that change is the only thing that is certain. Protesting workers close Tendele mine On 24 August 2018, placard-waving workers from Tendele Coal Mine in Somkhele, stood outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court protesting against our application to close the… Continue reading