SANRAL is pursuing the construction of a new toll road highway through the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape – a road that would have potentially disastrous effects on local communities and the environment.
The proposed new toll will bisect the ancestral lands of the coastal communities, the majority of whom are strongly opposed to its construction, and would rather prefer improvement to the existing network of roads upon which existing towns and villages rely. The toll road is also seen as vital for the Xolobeni sands titanium mining project, against which the Amadiba community have been fighting for over a decade.
The imposition of the tollroad and mining projects are leaving those whose lives will be directly affected unable to assert their democratic rights to participate effectively in the decision-making processes that impact on their lives, or to protect themselves against the powerful political and commercial interests that wish to exploit their resources.
The chairperson of Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), Sikhosiphi ‘Bazooka’ Rhadebe from Mdatya village on the Wild Coast, was shot dead earlier this year in what is viewed as an assassination linked directly to his strong opposition to the mining and toll road proposals. His death comes on the back of repeated and persistent physical attacks, intimidation and threats made against those opposed to these proposed “development” projects.
The Sigidi and Mdatya communities have repeatedly stated that they are not against development; however they want real development that supports, rather than destroys, their traditional way of life – namely sustainable tourism and agriculture, rather than the short term extractive mining and tolling currently being pursued.
The Amadiba are traditionally active and productive farmers and proven responsible custodians of their land. “We are not among the quoted one-in-four South Africans who go to bed hungry. We have a life here.” Nonhle Mbuthuma, Community Leader, Amadiba Community.
SANRAL however is choosing to ignore these voices and is pushing ahead with the planned construction – which is why this matter is now in the courts, and why we need your support!
The Sigidi and Mdatya Communities of the Amadiba area are engaged in a David and Goliath battle against a parastatal with seemingly unlimited resources for litigation – and we need your help to give these communities a fighting chance.
By supporting the Wild Coast Communities with a monthly donation to our litigation fund, no matter how small, you will be helping to fund our efforts to protect and advance the interests of the Amadiba Communities.
Bazooka gave his life - please give us your support to continue his fight for human rights and real sustainable development in Pondoland.
Together we can do so much! Show your solidarity today!
Read more about the case, and meet our amazing legal team: http://cullinans.co.za/blog/article/wild-coast-com....
For a look at the deeply troubling recent history of the Wild Coast: http://cullinans.co.za/blog/article/the-wild-wild-...
For an award winning film which highlights the deep divisions in the communities affected by the proposed mining and toll road see