The Constitutional Court has handed down a ruling, saying communities have the right to say no to mining and that mining companies cannot remove land owners or occupiers from their land, even if they have been awarded mining rights to mine.
The court overturned an eviction order awarded to Itereleng Bakgatla Mineral Resources (IBMR) and Pilanesberg Platinum Mines (PPM) to evict the Lesetlheng Community from the farm, Wilgeheuwel.
A debate has been raging for nearly 15 years, since Australian mining company, Mineral Commodities started mining titanium from the dunes of Xolobeni on the Wild Coast. Residents of the area were worried about losing their homes and grazing lands, and the environment being damaged.
Attorney, Richard Spoor has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the land and the people from the harmful effects of mining.
Spoor spoke to Joanne Joseph on the Afternoon Drive to share his take on the judgement and how it will affect the people of Xolobeni.
This is a good judgement, there are aspects that still need to be clarified but it is an enormous advance.— Richard Spoor, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Spoor Inc.
This judgement which relates to a community in the North West province but which has direct application to the Xolobeni situation and where the Xolobeni community was heard as friend of the court, is really important for them as well.— Richard Spoor, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Spoor Inc.
Click on the link below to hear more from Spoor....