Jeff Brown's blog

JOHN RUDLING knew he was in trouble when the engine of his Robinson R22 helicopter spluttered and lost power just five feet into the hover – not because he was making an unscheduled touchdown, but rather because of where he was.


The aircraft is operated by G4 Helicopters, at Margate Airport, and, since the loss of the company’s R44 earlier this year, it was the only means of keeping the students busy. There was another problem. The R22 was on a verge near a very deserted beach on the rugged Transkei coast – not famous for its roads or communications.


Some idea of the work and materials which were required to get the damaged R22 from its crash site on to the back of the truck for transportation to the nearest road.

(Subsistence fishers obliged to work in cooperatives? (Yah, that'll work. Gugu has the entire co-management commitee structure mapped out for Coffee Bay, and tried for years to get the department to 'cooperate'.)

 I have a subscription to Time Magazine, courtesy of my dad. Mostly for toilet reading 'Murica's FP - but it can be interesting.

This article is scanned from Time Magazine, 22 August 2013 edition, but does not otherwise appear online:



Richard Kohler at Hole in the Wall: Thursday, 17 January 2012.

For some cool footage of the other side of "The Hole", check

The 3 month long petition "Demand that the South African government declare the Wild Coast a No Go area for mining once and for all" ran from 9 July until 8 October 2012 and received 24,315 supporter's signatures.

Download the 660 pages of sigs here:

Petition signatures - compressed (1.1Mb)

or view

Petition signatures - uncompressed (15Mb)

Latest news:

On Wednesday, 2012-08-08 the Amadiba Crisis Committee filed an Objection against the prospecting right application made by Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources SA:

The objection was filed jointly by the ACC and Sun International, which operates the Wild Coast Sun resort adjacent to the proposed mining area.

You’ve probably heard of the Tanzanian government‘s recent decision to cancel plans for the construction of a new highway that would have bisected the Serengeti National Park, threatening the integrity of the site of one of the world’s largest, most famous and most important annual wildlife migrations. That was great news.

THURSDAY, 04 AUGUST 2011 11:42
On Monday 25 July, a year since appeals were first submitted, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, rejected all 49 appeals against the development of the N2 toll road and in so doing has given the go-ahead for the construction of this new section of the highway. <i>July 29 2011 at 11:29am </i>

<b>Wild Coast toll road decision is shameful</b>

SILLY, silly me. All these years I have laboured under the illusion that the prime duty of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and its minister was to protect our water resources and be the steward of our environment.

Minister of Water & Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, has approved the controversial N2 tollroad through the environmentally sensitive Pondoland Centre of Endemism.

In a 21 page fax sent out to IAPs she dismissed all 49 appeals lodged in objection to the new road. What is clear is that the minister is being a "loyal cadre" and carrying out the wishes of the ANC, while betraying her office and responsibilities to the environment.

Download the Fax here: 184635892.pdf

Opponents of the N2 toll road that will snake through the Wild Coast are ready to take their battle to the highest court following the controversial road's approval by Environment Minister Edna Molewa this week.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has fought tooth and nail to build the road from Durban to East London for the past 10 years but has faced fierce opposition from environmentalists, the local community and civil society.

Inyoni (AKA Slipway)Inyoni (AKA Slipway)A crowd of bemused holiday makers gathered on the beach at Hole in the Wall yesterday where a small penguin had set ashore nursing an injured leg. As it is tagged (S29329), it definitely has had human contact before and seems to have landed at the busiest beach in the area specifically looking for help from humans. Especially as it is over 1000km away from its usual habitat.

The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus, Xhosa name: Nombombiya, and also known as the Black-footed Penguin) is an endangered species and there are fewer than 100,000 left in the world.

A hiker from nearby Coffee Bay turned out to be a marine biologist from Hawaii, and advised Charlene from Hole in the Wall Hotel on the correct care for the docile, cute little fuzzy, who whacked down 4 sards for dinner, and another 3 for breakfast this morning.

It is well known by now that the minister of minerals & energy revoked the mining license, granted to MRC and their local subsidiary Xolco in 2008, at the beginning of the month.

However the door is still ajar and we await the outcome in 3 months time.

The applicants have until then to resubmit properly completed environmental impact assessments, a full environmental management plan, and to comply fully with the various requirements of affected government departments.

Some of the comments are really funny. E.g.:

Mifozi, wrote
IOL Comments
09:06am on 30 May 2011
IOL Comments

Wow, the marriage of Prince William and Lady Catherine solicited a great deal of interest on the site yesterday. The visitor count hit a new all time record, and I thought the site had been compromised until I figured out that over half of the hits were on the blog post from 2008 about the Royal brothers riding the Wild Coast. (

I thought that (what little I saw of it) the pomp and pageantry of the wedding of the century was quite magical. The stuff of fantasy; and we need that in this world.

Click on the pics for full size popup:

How high can the ocean levels rise with global warming?

(Apparently not very high.)

Here's another one:

If we were to supply all the world's electricity supply via solar, it would take up approximately 496,805 km2.

Sounds like a lot, but how big is it?

KZN Cabinet to fight N2 toll road plan
Published in: Legalbrief Environmental
Date: Tue 14 December 2010
Category: Litigation
Issue No: 0193

<i>The KZN Cabinet will go to court to block the N2 Wild Coast toll road because the plan is 'not in the interests of the people of KZN', notes a report in The Mercury.</i>

Cyanide & Happiness @

Well known Kwazulu-Natal midlands water-colour artist, Joan Bastard, has kindly put together a calendar of paintings for SWC, depicting scenes of Transkei and Pondoland.

These calendars are selling for R150 each, of which R30/ calendar is donated to SWC. The remainder goes towards printing costs and artist commission. The calendars are printed on high quality paper and make wonderful mementos and gifts.

Next time you're in Coffee Bay, be sure to pick up one of these ingenious purses made by the local children from old cartons.

in loving memory of Steven Caine
(14 December 1966 - 25 September 2009)

The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) and Legal Resource Centre (LRC) demands decision from the department “by no later than 28 September 2010”, failing which the matter will be taken to High Court.

Social worker John Clarke has provided the following summary of developments, and opinion.

Xolobeni Mining
We are still waiting for DG of Mineral Resources, Sandile Nogcina, to announce the outcome of the appeal by the Amadiba Crisis Committee.  It has been over two years since the appeal was lodged.

A friend was lamenting on facebook about the pervasive racism in the small town where she's recently moved, and finding herself cringing internally and shutting up instead of speaking out.

Her friend Annie Ory (who I'm compelled to credit for such sage advice) responded:

We are appealing to enthusiastic volunteers to assist rural schools and promote literacy, computer skills, extramural activities, arts and sports development.