The Somkhele Community fight against against coal mining expansion: voices from the frontline

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  • Author Sifundo Dlakude
  • Published April 19, 2024
  • Word count 306

The Somkhele Community fight against Tendele Coal Mining expansion: voices from the frontline

For decades, coal has been both a blessing and a curse for the community. While providing jobs and economic stability, it has also exacted a heavy toll on their environment and health. With plans for expanded mining operations looming on the horizon, concerns have escalated over the exacerbation of air and water pollution, destruction of natural habitats, and disruption of traditional ways of life.

Voices of Dissent

In the face of rising pressure from corporate interests and government agencies, community members refuse to be silenced. Their voices, amplified by the collective strength of grassroots organizing and intergenerational solidarity, resonate far beyond the confines of their town.

“We cannot sacrifice our environment on the altar of profit,” declares Nolwazi Mlangeni, a local activist and mother of two. “Our children deserve clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a future free from the shackles of environmental degradation.”

Sipho Moloisane, a retired coal miner turned environmental advocate, echoes her sentiments. “I’ve seen firsthand the toll that coal extraction takes on our land and our people,” he says. “It’s time we chart a new chapter, one that prioritises renewable energy, sustainable development, and respect for indigenous rights.”

The stakeholders engaged in the dialogue and deliberation, opportunities for collaboration and innovation emerge. From implementing sustainable mining technologies to fostering inclusive decision-making processes, there exists a pathway towards reconciliation between economic development and environmental protection without the local community.

This article aims in addressing impacts that resulted from the Tendele mining company, located in Somkhele, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa .It has has highlighted environmental degradation , health problems as well as pollution from the mining activities. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and issues while promoting sustainable mining practices and community empowerment.

Our land, Our Right !!!

Name : Sifundo Dlakude , a student studying at University of KwaZulu- Natal Doing my 4th year. This is part of my proposal for GEOG314 module.

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