“We are determined to show the world and politicians that in Mpondoland we know what we want. We never gave them our brains when we voted, we have the ability to reason and make our own decisions about our future.” – Sinegugu Zukulu, Amadiba resident.

Government is intent on catalysing industrial development in the Eastern Cape Province through two major infrastructure projects  – mining for heavy minerals, and a tolled highway. The majority of residents in the Amadiba coastal villages believe that such imposed industrial growth will have limited benefits for local residents and will bring significant negative social, economic and environmental impacts. They believe that the best way to enable a vibrant local economy is to improve the existing road network and enable small, locally designed, owned and managed projects aligned with the culture and rural nature of their area. Such projects would empower and benefit local people rather than enrich large construction and mining corporations.

Strong community groups have emerged within the Amadiba community to challenge government imposed projects and assert their right to choose their own development priorities.

Amadiba Development Priorities

The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) formed in 2007, is leading resistance to the mining project and also fighting for a rerouting of the N2 Wild Coast toll road out of the coastal area. This area is also known as Amadiba Administrative Area 24, under the governance of the Umgungundlovu Traditional Authority, which meets weekly at “komkhulu“.

The Amadiba Coastal Community Trust (ACCODA), formed in 2002, is working to develop ecotourism and agriculture projects as alternatives to mining.

“The government is coming to us like someone with ‘itchy armpits’. They must scratch where we are itching, not their own itchy armpits. The roads that we have to use to get to town and church are mostly just cattle paths. They must close their armpits, listen to us, and fix our small roads.” Nomvelwano Mhlengana, Mdatya Village Resident.