Pressure on Petmin’s key Shareholders to divest as anger mounts against Tendele mine’s exploitation and expansion

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa –Demonstrators plan to intercept Petmin shareholders entering the Head Office in Bryanston when they attend the 10h00 meeting, 8 May, to approve Petmin’s delisting from the JSE. Institutions targeted to divest from Petmin’s Tendele coal mine include Investec, Old Mutual, Barclays Bank, Afena Capital, RECM.
Tendele is sited in Somkhele, near the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, and is a major source of dissatisfaction and conflict in Somkhele, where impacts of climate change devastate the residents of Somkhele, their livestock and wildlife in SA’s oldest protected area.  Tension is again mounting in Somkhele where, for ten years the mine management has been engaging with the traditional leaders and making agreements with them while ignoring the long list of complaints from thousands of community members who are directly affected.
The launch, on 28 April 2017, of WoMin’s (African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction) water report “No Longer a Life worth Living” and a meeting of Somkhele activists and support organisations (WoMin, groundwork, Global Environmental Trust, MACUA, WAMUA, MCEJO) prompted this demonstrate at Petmin’s shareholder meeting. The demonstration, part of’s Global Divestment Mobilisation, draws attention to the socio-economic and environmental injustices caused by Tendele as it continues to force people off their land to make way for the rapidly expanding mine.

Mr Mtshali looking over Tendele Mine surrounding his homestead

Wealthy Somkhele farmer, Mr Mtshali with 200 cattle, numerous goats and sheep (worth R3m) refuses to move to make way for the mine. He has distanced himself from Tendele’s unfair compensation: “The mine talks about jobs but I didn’t need a job. I have always been self-employed till the mine took away my grazing and agricultural land. The mine forces people to become poor. I will not move from here. This is where I belong.”

Tendele has expressed interest in mining 500m from the boundary of the iMfolozi Wilderness area resulting in hundreds of people being relocated and threatening the integrity of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, the first game reserve declared in Africa 120 years ago, as a sanctuary for the last remaining Southern White Rhino in 1897.
Environmental lawyer, Kirsten Youens, is of the opinion that Tendele’s expansion under section 102 of the MPRDA requires a Public Participation Process for people living on the land to have the opportunity to comment. Tendele has failed to do this.
As the divestment movement gains momentum globally, the Somkhele community joins tens of thousands of activists this week who are demanding that institutions divest from coal mining companies responsible for climate change and water theft, as well as the suffering of vulnerable rural communities, the destruction of their heritage and sacred sites and irreplaceable life-supporting biodiversity and ecosystems.

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