WildCoast.Com's blog

Some have been arguing from the outset that the valuation of $18 million which Xolco have to pay for their 26% stake (minimum BEE criteria) was baseless, and proved that no negotiation took place with truly affected parties; as they obviously never took negotiable access rights and royalties into account.

Yet Ehlobo Heavy Minerals, the original BEE partners who walked away from the deal because of environmental issues and other implications, were only going to pay a third of that price for their majority stake.

Read TFA from Business Report:

A few reasons why the mining should not be allowed to proceed:

1. The strip mining method which is planned to be used is Dry Mining. This will entail a huge dust fallout which will affect all residents in the area (plant, animal and human... and especially the breeding river estuarines). Furthermore the Wet Separation Plant (WSP) which is then used to separate the Heavy Mineral Concentrate (HMC) requires 2 MILLION liters of water per hour, 24 hours a day... which will affect the water table of this fragile biosphere HUGELY.

"The state of our environment is fragile and needs every citizen’s involvement to protect it. Our Constitution is one of the few in the world that gives its people the right to a clean and healthy environment.

At my inauguration, I stressed the link between our soil and a personal sense of renewal. Our soil, along with all our natural resources, is a precious asset that we cannot squander.

Our people are bound up with the future of the land. Our national renewal depends upon the way we treat our land, our water, our sources of energy, and the air we breathe.

The end of apartheid closed a shabby and divisive chapter in the history of our country. As we go into the future together, we need to be united in building a sustainable basis for the use of our resources.

50/50 will be broadcasting a report on the Beach Protest March/Walk, and the story of ‘Scorpion’ Dimane - one of the leaders of the Crisis Committee, - (who unfortunately wasn’t able to be there), tonight Monday 11 August at 7.30pm on SABC TV 2. It includes damning footage shot last year when the EIA process commenced, testifying to allegations of bribery... and worse... to force the local residents to support the mining scheme.

Apparently DME have agreed to join a studio debate on the matter, to be filmed on Wednesday next week, and broadcast the following week.

Skulduggery and dune mining
(From Noseweek)
by Erika Schutze

Residents in the Xolobeni district in Pondoland find themselves the victims of the manipulative tactics of an Australian mining company on the hunt for titanium deposits, the tunnel vision of the Department of Minerals and Energy, as well as a couple of scheming ANC bigwigs (ex of the Department of Trade and Industry) intent on becoming the BEE beneficiaries of the proposed mining deal -- without ever having consulted those to whom the land belongs.

Moreover, the BEE deal that has been set up effectively lands the local tribal shareholders in massive debt for the 26 percentage of shares that they do get: they may only earn dividends after their shares have been paid off, projected to take at least three years if revenues match expectation.

[img_assist|nid=344|title=Community leaders|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=320|height=227]Hundreds of people walked from Wild Coast Sun to meet the people of Xolobeni.

Despite the pro-mining lobby tricking many members into not attending (by announcing a food-basket handout for the same day) it is apparent that the community, as represented by hundreds of people present, sangomas and the headman, are totally opposed to the strip mining of 22km of their pristine grassland and dunes.

In fact they have threatened to revolt, like the Pondo Uprising of 1960, if the government grants the mining license.

These pictures do very little to convey the beauty and incredible historic / archeological value of this portion of the irreplaceable Pondoland Center of Endemism.

Benny the Tour Guide can be contacted on 079-1985 975 / or through Sonya on 074-336 7862 - for a guided day-trip.

See for yourself why we must protect our children's ecological heritage.

[img_assist|nid=308|title=hole in the wall|desc=|link=popup|align=right|width=318|height=240]There are many things in this world that are beyond my understanding or capacity to articulate clearly. I feel not only inadequate, but also threatened by the situation surrounding me at Hole in the Wall, or rather, I truly fear taking a public stand. I don't have the clarity or writing capability to do the story true justice:

Sometime in 2003 the headman, Mzoxolo Ngubenani, was shot and killed while in Rustenburg. According to local sources, his estranged wife, Nowinase, had left him about 15 years prior to his death and she had been living with another man in Johannesburg. Shortly after Mzoxolo's murder she returned to the region with a son of approximately 9 years of age whom she claimed was his legitimate heir, and she was then installed as regent / headman by the king of the abaThembu, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

Jeff Moloi wrote a short article which was published in the Enroute newspaper. My response, which I also posted to Jeff's facebook group, precedes the verbatim quote of his article:

Can the Transkei afford to keep the Wild Coast “wild”?

Just last week there was the 3rd meeting in terms of the SDF (Spatial Development Framework) for the Kwa Tshezi Development Association. (The Tshezi district is basically from Umtata Mouth down to Hole in the Wall, under Chief Ngwenyathi [Ward 23 under clr Mvunge]).

Naspers owned Media24 is attempting to create a local portal in competition with Google.

There isn't really enough room for another new search engine operator and pesky web crawler, plus if ever there was a company that needed re-branding - Naspers could compete for top of the all-time list.

The Afrikaans publishing house with Broederbond roots has grown into Africa’s most successful media conglomerate. A few years ago Ton Vosloo, the chairman of Naspers was considered a mouthpiece for the conservative Afrikaner establishment that conceived, legislated and maintained apartheid. Vosloo was a member of the Broederbond; the secret society of lawyers, judges, parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and business and political leaders who ran the government and sought to empower the White Afrikaner population.

Researchers at the Meraka Institute have released an Open Source spelling game which supports all 11 official South African languages.

I'm hoping it may just turn out to be useful for computer classes at the 5 schools around here.

It's about a 40meg download, and is also available for Windows.

Luckily I bookmarked some of them before Safari crashed. I knew it was going to crash. . . had so many things open. *sigh* I need a memory upgrade. on the Traditional authorities. on the Xolobeni debacle.

[img_assist|nid=291|title=Arb pic of the day (Kham soccer field)|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=320|height=151]Phew, from the open rubbish dump in front of the hotel to the lack of a pedestrian sidewalk on the main road to the abandoned campsite it seems there's a lot of (insert pejorative) here. I arrived in the wake of the storm earlier this week, and a series of power failures afflicted the one half of the village. The funny thing was the property in which the project house is had no power while the neighboring property (in the same fence) did. So I went to the Beach Party at Coffee Shack. The power failure lasted from 5'ish 'til about 9 and blanketed the backpackers' side of town in blackness. It was quiet weird and probably just long enough, too, for me to have too much to drink and imperceptibly cross that point, from one split syllable to the next, from interesting to annoying. Like the mosquitoes and the flies here.

Or as Screwmaster over at slashdot ( would have it: it's the old "When Hairy Met Sili" scam.

Quotes from a June 2000 interview:

"Reality is contradictory. And it's paradoxical. If there's any one word -- if you had to pick one word to describe that nature of the universe -- I think that word would be paradox. That's true at the subatomic level, right through sociological, psychological, philosophical levels on up to cosmic levels."

"To say that you can't take life seriously and that life shouldn't be taken seriously is not to say that life is trivial or frivolous. Quite the contrary. There's nothing the least bit frivolous about the playful nature of the universe. Playfulness at a fully conscious level is extremely profound. In fact there is nothing more profound. Wit and playfulness are dreadfully serious transcendence of evil."

"The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens -- but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it's love and love alone that really matters." --Tom Robbins

Commenting on his new children's book about to (this year) be published in the Fall as "B is for Beer", he described it as "an hallucinogenic hymn to beer, children, and the cosmic mysteries that sustain us all."

Check for an excerpt from the story.

Upgrading to Drupal 6.2 leaves something to be desired as far as the image module goes.

It's bad enough for the average enthusiast that uploading images is not a core feature... but here's the fix that I found posted at

insert into image select upload.nid as nid , files.fid as fid , filename as image_size from upload, files where upload.fid = files.fid and files.filemime like "image/%";

Nkosinathi Somgidi was born on the 12th October, 1991 - which makes him about 16 years old. According to Goodman (who owns and manages the security force here), he had the boy arrested some time ago for apparently assaulting his son while his son was on guard duty at the hotel. Goodman says that Nkosinathi spat at his son and slapped him in the face (through the fence at the hotel entrance).

I enquired whether it was true that the 16 year old Nkosinathi had been in prison for 2 months already up 'til now, and he replied that's not true, because he's being held at Mapuzi police station holding cells and not in "prison". I then asked Goodman why the incident occurred - but by that stage he was so thoroughly incensed at the fact that I was questioning his authority that he refused to talk to me further, and would only talk to "Mister Brown" (senior). I walked away with him still shouting at my back "How can you accuse me?"

Summary: Microsoft are disabling WebDAV access to all accounts. This means Hotmail Pop Links and Outlook Express access to accounts will stop working at the end of June 2008. You should download all your Hotmail email ASAP and tell people to stop using your email address as soon as possible.

For many years, Microsoft has provided external access to accounts via a protocol called WebDAV. This is the protocol FastMail uses on the Options -> Pop Links screen to allow downloading of email from accounts. It’s also the same protocol that Outlook Express uses to access accounts.

A survey done in 2003 by the Mussel Rehabilitation Project sampled 480 households out of a total of 982 households in Lower Nenga. The results showed that 186 (38.75%) were female headed households and 20 (4.17%) child headed households. 184 (38.33%) households had pension grants, 204 (42.5%) child grants, and 49 (10.21%) disability grants, whilst 172 (35.83%) of the households had migrant workers and 15 (3.12%) had somebody working locally.

Embed a picture: <img src="http://url_name/img_name" border="0" align="right" padding-left="4px" />
Link to a URL: <a href="http://url_name" target="_blank">Link name</a>

<code><a href="">Wild Coast</a></code> . . . this entry is mainly just a test to see if filtered html is automatically linking URL entries. Which it wasn't. Hence the above torture.

Doesn't it ever bother people when they go to, like, for example, only to find they don't have the business details of some very well known national company in there, because Supaquick (for example) don't pay Brabys to list them in their print service.

Some people honestly don't get the internet and the free information economy at all.

Upon reading the story about the decimation of the Transkei, a friend responded "Your account of the ancestors appearing as a tornado reminds me of the story circulating in the Xolobeni area about how the "animal/dragon in the earth" arose in the form of a tornado after the first prospecting took place - the most vicious tornado in living memory... the ancestors don't rest here, you are right."



"Mining the Pondoland Wild Coast is the moral, cultural and aesthetic equivalent of quarrying Ayers Rock for granite, or the Great Barrier Reef for calcium carbonate." ~Richard Spoor

The Wild Coast is the most beautiful coastline on Earth; and is host to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE)... one of 34 internationally recognized biodiversity hotspots on our planet Earth.

This site is essentially a tourism information portal - where local businesses can register and upload their details and photos on the internet for free. Unfortunately, despite the fact that South Africa is a signatory to the Convention on Biodiversity, our government and certain vested interests are flagrantly threatening the PCE with titanium strip mining - and doing everything in their power to pave the way for autocratic control over the mining industry regardless of environmental impact issues.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence- it is a force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

"Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it."

~George Washington


Comments due by today !!!

Public Hearings: National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007)

The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism will be conducting public hearings on the National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007).

Deadline for written submissions: November 2nd, 2007
Public Hearings: November 6th, 2007

Ms. Albertina Kakaza
Fax: 021 403 2808

Click here to obtain a copy of the Bill.

Ms. Albertina Kakaza 021 403 3765

(Note: basically the amendment appears to remove the mining industry from the NEMA (National Environment Management Act) and places overriding authority at the discretion of the minister of minerals and energy. Further, it vitiates environmental controls in favor of the commercial consequences - and allows decisions to be made by any minister or MEC .

Our autocratic demockery:

The level of collusion and deceit we've seen so far between TEM/Xolco and various government departments and state organs leaves me in no uncertainty that the amendments are related to the Xolobeni Mineral Sands application... amongst others.

Comments are due by tomorrow (2 November 2007), and the amendment bill can be downloaded here:

This site was exploited a couple of weeks ago. My own fault, for allowing PHP input. It just never even occurred to me!

Anyway... I took the usual precautions and upgraded everything... but I didn't even notice the ramifications for a couple of weeks more... until I logged out to test a problem that someone reported... and found I couldn't log back in!

The exploit came from a Chinese based IP address; and my paranoid suspicions are that they are the best internet censors in the world... and far too good friends with our government. No matter. I blackholed the entire network block - since the only 2 hits I ever received from there were over the period of the exploit.

That reminds me... it's interesting to note that only about 15% of this site's hits come from outside South Africa. I guess no one is really interested in coming here anymore. What with the crime, and sheer banana republic lunacy. (Telecoms for one thing, corruption for another.) We're the laughing stock of the world... as the only country on the Security Council to have voted against censuring the Burmese junta. Why is that do you imagine? As a supposed liberal country that used to be dominated by an oppressive militaristic police state it strikes me as rather hypocritical. But then many things about this government are - if not hypocritical - then simply downright obscene.

The Transkei has been victim to the policies of the ANC for some time now. People don't realize that my sense of urgency (paranoia) is based on over 13 years of experience with them in this region... and it has been brutal.

Firstly, it was destabilized to rid the area of the influence of Holomisa and the UDM. . . by moving the capital to Bhisho and closing down all the parastatals (like Radio Transkei, Capital Radio, Transkei Airways [my Mom was there from day dot... marketing director, and the woman behind the scenes, if you know what I mean] Magwa Tea, TRACOR, etc, etc, plus the Transkei Defence Force [along with all the APLA & MK cadres Bantu Bonke Holomisa was hosting quite openly - altho he denies it]).

My estimate, including the troops at Umtata & PSJ, is in the region of 65,000 jobs that were lost. Then we were put on tax parity with SA and all the industrial incentives were removed.


Funnily enough, Mandela, on one of his visits to Umtata shortly after that, was caught in Umtata Pharmacy in York Rd. as the only TORNADO in living memory roared through that very street. His body guards fell on top of him, as the ceiling was raised 18 INCHES... but no real damage was sustained apart from some bruising to the remnants of his dignity.