Communities in bid to stop coal mining scheme

Not recognised: Coal of Africa director Alfred Nevhutanda is accused of frinting his interest over community.
PHOTO: Chester Makana. © Sowetan. FM 11/12/2009, pg 26. Alfred Nevhutanda. A member of the National Lotteries Board arts & culture distribution agency, he is new board chair. Other members are George Negota, Obed Shabangu, Ndileka Loyilani, Govindasami Reddy and Zodwa Ntuli
Not recognised: Coal of Africa director Alfred Nevhutanda is accused of frinting his interest over community. PHOTO: Chester Makana. © Sowetan. FM 11/12/2009, pg 26. Alfred Nevhutanda. A member of the National Lotteries Board arts & culture distribution agency, he is new board chair. Other members are George Negota, Obed Shabangu, Ndileka Loyilani, Govindasami Reddy and Zodwa Ntuli

THE community of Mudimeli and surrounding areas will ask the Minister of Energy to reject an application by mining company Coal of Africa to mine coal in their area.

THE community of Mudimeli and surrounding areas will ask the Minister of Energy to reject an application by mining company Coal of Africa to mine coal in their area.

The communities had demanded that the mine management be transparent on black economic empowerment and Mining Code of Good Practice, which they said was overlooked because shares were allegedly given to foreigners before them.

Community spokesperson Sam Mafukaduvha said they had instructed their lawyers to stop the firm from acquiring a licence to conduct its operations because it had ignored and barred them from the consultation processes.

He said they started becoming suspicious that the firm was planning to mine after the involvement of Professor Alfred Nevhutanda, who allegedly pretended to represent communities in the area.

Nevhutanda has since been appointed executive director of Coal of Africa and was allegedly offered 500000 shares as a golden handshake for his role in the negotiations for exploration rights.

The company is listed in the London, Australia and Johannesburg stock exchanges with projects also at Mooiplaats in Mpumalanga, Vele and Makhado in Limpopo.

Mafukaduvha said the mine management wanted to use the illiterate inhabitants of the area to sign agreements that would end up in the exploitation of communities without benefiting from the mining development.

"We are going to suffer from dust at the expense of the 2percent shares allocated to us. This is nothing but a curse," said Mafukaduvha.

"If the management of the mine does not want to consider us they must forget about doing business in our area."

He added that they would seek a court order to stop the process.

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