Ecologist Special Report: Why mining and violence are inextricably linked
Date Written: 27/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20601
The South African government is currently embarking on streamlining decision-making processes in mining. To many this sounds like more top-down decision-making at the expense of those communities that will have to host mines and paves the way for more violent conflict, warns Jasper Finkeldey.
Last year South Africa's bountiful Wild Coast saw the assassination of Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, activist against proposed dune mining on his homeland. The commemoration of Rhadebe who went by the name Bozooka coincided with this year's Human Rights day. At least 500 people came to stand together in solidarity to call for an end to violence under the glaring sun of the Wild Coast far off the tarred national roads.
Saluting the deceased Rhadebe, leader of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, gun shots were fired in the air giving a vivid demonstration of the sound of death that was heard on the Wild Coast a year ago. Mark Caruso, CEO of the company that applied for a permit for titanium mining on the Wild Coast had (according to local media) previously bragged in an internal email: "I am enlivened by [the] opportunity to grind all resistance to my presence."
Violence and mining do not meet spontaneously - they are uncanny bedfellows.