The park is home to the largest concentration of Southern White Rhino in the world and this is a highly sensitive environmental area
By Allan Troskie
The High Court has been asked to put a stop to the open cast coal mine near the boundary of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, which has apparently been operating for 13 years without the required environmental authorisation.
An application was filed in Pietermaritzburg against Tendele Coal Mining (Pty) Ltd by the Global Environmental Trust (GET), the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO) and a resident of Somkhele, Sabelo Dladla, whose family have been seriously impacted by the mine.
The mine has been operating since 2004.
The park is home to the largest concentration of Southern White Rhino in the world and this is a highly sensitive environmental area.
Recent investigations by Zimbali-based Youens Attorneys have revealed that the mine has done no environmental impact assessments (EIA) and has none of the environmental authorisations required to operate.
As a result, said the attorneys, the Tendele coal mine is operating illegally under the the National Environmental Management Act and prior to that the Environment Conservation Act. This is just one aspect of the case being brought against them.
“By its own admission, Tendele has been relocating graves without the required permission in terms of Section 35 of the KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Act 4 of 2008.
“The mine also does not have a waste management licence as required by the Waste Act, nor any planning authorisation,” said Kirsten Youens.
“Given this concerning record of non-compliance, particularly the lack of environmental authorisations for the 222 square kilometre mining rights area in such an environmentally sensitive area, the submission appeals to the court to stop all mining operations until the mine is compliant.”
This article was published in the North Coast Courier on October 21, 2017