South Africa Commentary: No concrete benefits foreseen from mining, argues Xolobeni Community

Author: Andrew Bennie-Daily Maverick, Published 16 January 2019

"Mining will not bring jobs to  Xolobeni"

Through farming, many Amadiba coastal residents are not just surviving, but flourishing. Together with greater potential for integration with ecological integrity, this is the kind of work that should be supported in a climate change world. But the Amadiba are advancing agriculture and eco-tourism with virtually no state support or infrastructure...Eastern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Oscar Mabuyane lamented the loss of revenue in the Eastern Cape, which he blamed partly on “missed opportunities” to create jobs, prompting people to seek economic opportunities elsewhere...We are saying that tourism and mining can co-exist if people of that area can agree and mining will bring job opportunities, investments, social infrastructure and other benefits.”

But Amadiba coastal residents have consistently made clear their positive views on job creation and development. Why, then, would they oppose mining? The consistent public claims about the job creation and developmental benefits of mining in Xolobeni have never been backed up by any research or evidence. Rather, the research that has been done has indicated quite the opposite: that mining will not bring more benefits to those living in Amadiba than other options such as supporting local tourism, agriculture and ecological protection....The environmental management plan (EMP), detailing how the mining company would deal with the environmental and social impacts identified in the EIA, reinforced this in surprisingly clear terms: The community who will be most severely impacted by the proposed development are unlikely to benefit significantly from the permanent employment opportunities associated with the mine.”...this statement is from a report commissioned by the mining company to support its application for a right to mine. Despite this, company representatives continued to publicly punt the job and development opportunities that the mine would create, with many in the state following suit



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