“If the mining comes, even if they come with nice promises of money, it is going to remove us. We’ll never get our land back”. Mzondeni Denge, sub-headman. Mtolana village.

Since the late 1990’s mining companies have put in repeated applications to mine the heavy mineral sands in the coastal dunes between Mzamba and Mtentu. The applicant is Mineral Commodities Limited (MRC), an Australian mining company with a local subsidiary operating as Transworld Energy and Minerals Resources (TEM), and a Black Economic Empowermemt (BEE) partner, the Xolobeni Empowerment Company (XOLCO).

The proposed mining will destroy 22 kilometres of coastline which the Amadiba value for its natural resources and sense of place. It is a landscape upon which they depend for their well-being, through fishing, tourism and agriculture. Research has shown that the economic benefits and job creation potential of ecotourism would equal that of mining, over the proposed lifetime of the mine (22 years), without destroying the ecosystems and the social fabric of the Amadiba community.

Visiting Richard’s Bay, where similar dune mining is taking place, enabled Amadiba residents to make the informed decision that mining would not be in the best interests of their community.

In November 2018, 128 heads of households and traditional community leaders, together with Bench Marks Foundation, won a significant court judgement that confirms their Right to Say NO to mining on their land. This is an affirmation to the internationally recognized Right of Indigenous Communities to Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

The struggle of the Amadiba is a global inspiration to other mining-affected communities in South Africa and around the world, and has featured extensively in the media for many years.

Footage of the Amadiba struggle:

Pondo People – Part 1 – December 2009

Where do human rights begin? – April 2016

50/50 coverage of the struggle against mining – September 2016

A small selection of media articles about the Xolobeni resistance:

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-01-15-mining-will-not-bring-jobs-to-xolobeni/ – January 2019

Explanation of the  #Right2sayNO court case by Richard Spoor – April 2018 https://youtu.be/a3ovB6FVMMc

Comments from ACC members, Siya Ndovela and Sbu Mqadi outside the court, SABC News – April 24 2018 https://youtu.be/i8DTE3y9HmU

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-07-20-op-ed-resistance-is-0fertile-amadiba-agriculture-challenges-elite-mining-agenda/ – July 2017

https://www.good.is/features/issue-39-corruption-south-african-mining – December 2016

https://mg.co.za/article/2016-02-12-we-will-die-for-our-land-say-angry-xolobeni-villagers-as-dune-mining-looms-1February 2016