The Xolobeni community on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape are in court fighting for the right to reject an application by an international mining firm to mine titanium in their community. The decision on this, and other applications, rests with the government. Mining-affected communities are currently denied what is known as the right to free prior and informed consent (FPIC) when it comes to mining developments in their area.

MACUA (Mining Affected Communities in United Action) and other concerned civil society actors are supporting this fight with an online petition that has implications for all mining-affected communities in their fight to live in “an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being”, as enshrined in the Constitution.

Through our Extractives Sector Transparency and Accountability work, we have witnessed an increase in collective efforts by mine-affected communities regarding ‘the right to say no’, starting with protests at the Mining Lekgotla to the Berea Declaration and the adoption of the People’s Mining Charter. This has been amplified by another recent milestone in the Pretoria North High Court ruling that communities must be consulted in the development of  the Mining Charter. The efforts of MACUA have heralded a growing impetus to bring community voices to the fore, calling for inclusive participation in decision-making processes related to mining activities.

If you want to find out more, read Amandla!Ulutsha’s newletter.

Image credit to Amandla!Ulutsha.