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Pondoland reprieve?

by Derek Alberts
21 September 2008

COULD it be that justice is prevailing and that the Australian-led titanium mining project at Xolobeni on the Wild Coast will be shelved?

Notice to this effect surfaced when Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica admitted for the first time last week that the consultation process into the planned multi-billion rand project was “flawed”.

Her comments follow a heated meeting at Xolobeni, where AmaMpondo King Mpondomini Sigcau, through his lawyer, demanded that the mining licence be withdrawn and that a proper investigation into the project be conducted.

The regent made it clear that tourism is preferred over mining, prompting Sonjica to concede that “no proper procedures were taken”.

“Now I know things I did not know; something is not right, and I have to correct it,” she said.
The minister’s admission suggests that something is very wrong with the information flow to her department, and that Mineral Resources Commodities and its BEE partner, Xolobeni Empowerment Company, have plenty to answer for.

The truth is probably contained in the sentiments of the king who has been opposed to the project from the start: “The people who would benefit were politicians.”

Last word:
“RESPONSIBILITY does not only lie with the leaders of our countries, or those that have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually.” — His Holiness, the Dalai Lama


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