JOHANNESBURG – The Amadiba Crisis Committee, formed by villagers in Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape to fight plans to mine titanium, has held a successful meeting with Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana, community spokesperson Nonhle Mbuthuma said on Friday. 

Mbuthuma said the meeting with Zokwana was attended by some 600 people in Sigidi village and was amicable, in stark contrast with visits by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe in January and last September. 

The community has been at loggerheads with the Mineral Resources Department over the last 15 years due to its opposition to the issuance of a titanium mining licence to Transworld Energy and Minerals, a subsidiary of Australia’s MRC. 

At the meeting with Zokwana, the Agricultural Research Council explained its role and outlined how it could help the community by testing soil, among other services. Mbuthuma said community members had an opportunity to ask questions, with Zokwana addressing concerns and undertaking to offer practical support. 

“Among these (undertakings) is support for community owned tractors, coastal guards to stop boats coming from afar to steal fish and help with direct marketing of crayfish,” Mbuthuma said. 

African News Agency (ANA)