The Crowd vs. Destructive Mining in Zululand

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Destructive Mining in Zululand


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The Crowd claims

Coal companies and the South African government have to stop with coal mining that puts Zululand and its people in danger and threatens the world’s greatest concentration of rhinos in the wilderness area of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.

Next legal action of the crowd

Preparation for interdicting Tendele Coal (Pty) Ltd and appealing the Mining Right granted by the Department of Mineral Resources. Taking decisions made by Department of Mineral Resources and/or Environmental Affairs on review. Bringing claims for compensation for people on the border of the mining activities. These are scheduled for 2019. To cover the ongoing cost for preparation of this winnable environmental case, The Crowd is targeting to raise US $3,000 or 2.500 euros per month.


Around the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, with the greatest concentration of rhinos in the world, is current and proposed open cast coal mining. The mining causes irreparable environmental damage and hazardous living conditions for the people who have water shortages, health issues, cracked houses, loss of land and livestock, and ongoing dust and noise. The light and noise pollution already negatively affects the Game Reserve, a place where thousands of visitors go to enjoy the peace of the bush. Permitting mining to continue unabated will put the health and daily food of the surrounding communities under further threat. Many people are forced to leave their homeland. Their lives are mined away. For just a few there will be work for a couple of months or years in a coal mining industry that is destroying their own land.

Legal Progress

At the same time the legal team is working on bringing claims for compensation for the hundreds of people who have already suffered as a result of being relocated by the mine or suffering as a result of living so close to it. Meanwhile, in the Fuleni Reserve to the south of the wilderness area, a new mining rights application is imminent. We successfully fought Ibutho Coal’s previous application and will do so again.

Case background and who The Crowd supports

January 2014 Ibutho Coal applied for mining rights to construct an open cast coal mine. The iMfolozi Wilderness lies within the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, home to a vast array of wildlife, including the Big Five. The area currently supports the greatest concentration of rhinoceros in the world. It also has a strong cultural heritage, dating back to the Stone Age with a strong connection to Zulu people, including King Shaka.

Two other mining operations are already working nearby, with devastating effects on nature and people, not to forget the water shortage for everyone. Targeted legal action can push Ibutho Coal back and will help put an end to mining in South Africa at the expense of people, their cultural heritage, and nature in the form of animals like rhinos.

The Tendele coal mine at Somkhele has been operating since 2004 without environmental authorizations or compliance with cultural heritage legislation and planning laws. The beautiful rural landscape and the peace and tranquility of the area is ruined. The trucks can be heard up to 15km away 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In surrounding communities people wake up in the middle of the night from the noise. People suffer as a result of loss of their grazing and agricultural land, no water, and loss of livestock. Their houses are cracked from the blasting and they suffer from respiratory illnesses.

Targeted legal action can push Tendele and Ibutho Coal back and will help put an end to unscrupulous mining in South Africa at the expense of people, their cultural heritage, and nature in the form of highly threatened animals, like rhinos.

The Crowd Versus works together with Global Environmental Trust (GET), which assists communities in areas of environmental significance affected by bad planning and unscrupulous environmental practices.  GET protects the human rights of individuals and communities in South Africa who are fighting against harm to their environment.

  • Save our iMfolozi Wilderness: Application for Leave to Appeal Filed

    Posted on December 13, 2018

    Media Release: Application for Leave to Appeal filed – Global Environmental Trust, MCEJO and S Dladla vs. Tendele Coal Mining (PTY) Ltd. PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA On Tuesday, 11 December, 2018, an Application for Leave to Appeal was filed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in the case between Tendele Coal Mining (PTY) Ltd and the Global […]

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  • Application Against Tendele Coal Mining (PTY) LTD and Others (Summary)

    Posted on December 13, 2018

    SUMMARY OF THE APPLICATION AGAINST TENDELE COAL MINING (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS IN THE HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA, KWAZULU-NATAL, PIETERMARITZBURG. TO BE HEARD 24 AUGUST 2018 Below is a summary of the court case scheduled for 24 August 2018. A list of relevant court papers and documents are provided below with links to download […]

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  • Shock Judgement in Tendele Interdict Application

    Posted on November 20, 2018

    Media Release 20 Nov 2018: Shock Judgement in Tendele Interdict Application  November 20, 2018   The incomprehensible judgement handed down by the Pietermaritzburg High Court this morning, 20 November 2018, dismissed with costs the application by Sabelo Dladla, the Global Environmental Trust (GET) and Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO). This will not go unchallenged. […]

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  • Ban on Trade of Wild Animals in China Stands

    Posted on November 18, 2018

    GOOD NEWS! Ban on Trade of Rhino Horn and Tiger Parts in China Still Stands   19 November 2018 In October 2018, China’s government announced a decision that outraged conservation groups worldwide. China was planning to lift the 25-year-old ban on the trade of rhino horn and tiger parts. The Chinese government argued that the […]

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  • Implications of the landmark 25 Oct. Constitutional Court decision

    Posted on October 26, 2018

    Implications of the landmark Constitutional Court decision for mining affected communities 26 October 2018 SYNOPSIS:  Yesterday’s Constitutional Court of South Africa (ConCourt) judgment represents a hugely significant decision for communities and land owners. It means that mining companies who have obtained a mining right cannot simply go onto the land and start mining, as they […]

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  • Mayor cancels meeting with DMR Task Team and Somkhele community

    Posted on October 2, 2018

    Mayor cancels meeting with DMR Task Team and Somkhele community  October 2, 2018 Community confer outside meeting   “I am astounded at the lack of respect given to my clients in these forums. The Agenda was particularly offensive after the tumultuous events in Somkhele and Xolobeni two weeks earlier and given that we attended a […]

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    Posted on October 2, 2018

    STORMS DURING MINISTER MANTASHE’S WHIRLWIND TOUR OF KZN & XOLOBENI By Sheila Berry Minister Mantashe’s whirlwind three day roadshow to major mining hotspots in KZN and the Eastern Cape last weekend has understandably focussed on the arrest of human rights attorney Richard Spoor and the tear gassing and use of stun grenades against protesting Amadiba […]

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  • Summary of Proceedings: Tendele/Somkhele Coal Mining Case

    Posted on August 29, 2018

    Media Release – Summary of Proceedings: Tendele/Somkhele Coal Mining Case  August 29, 2018 MCEJO outside the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court – photo by Rob Symons The application brought by The Global Environment Trust (GET) and members of Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organization (MCEJO) against Tendele Coal Mining (PTY) LTD, on 24 August 2018 in the Pietermaritzburg Supreme […]

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  • Prospecting Rights Application for IMVUKUZANE RESOURCES Put on HOLD – FULENI, KZN

    Posted on August 23, 2018

    Good news! Prospecting Rights Application for Imvukuzane Resources Put On Hold Greenmined Environmental distributed a letter on 14 August, 2018 to Interested and Affected Parties.The letter states that the Basic Assessment process for the prospecting rights application at Fuleni by Imvukuzane Resources, has been put on hold. Herewith we would like to inform you, on […]

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  • Media Release 20 August 2018 on Tendele/Somkhele Coal Mining Case

    Posted on August 21, 2018

    Media Release – on 20 August 2018 Tendele/Somkhele Coal Mining Case Notice: The Somkhele and Fuleni communities neighbouring the Hluluwe iMfolozi Park unite on 24th August 2018 at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in their resistance against the ongoing illegal mining by Tendele Coal Mining (PTY) LTD and its proposed expansion. PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: In an […]

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