Pretoria - It was joy and jubilation for the Xolobeni community on Thursday as the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruled that consent must be given by communities living on ancestral land before government can give the go-ahead for mining rights.
The Department of Mineral Resources cannot issue a mining right without the consent of the affected people in terms of existing legislation, Judge Anneli Basson ruled.
The Xolobeni community in the Eastern Cape, represented by the Amadiba Crisis Committee, turned to court to prevent the department from issuing a mining licence to Australian mining conglomerate Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM) to mine the titanium-rich sand along the Wild Coast.
The proposed mining area comprises of about 2 859 hectares along coastal land which is 22 kilometres long and 1.5 km inland from the high water mark. The majority of the affected community live within close proximity of the proposed mining area.
Most of the affected people in the area are related by blood or by marriage and have lived in the area for generations. They have family graves in the area and it is considered to be essential sites for family and community rituals.