Last week, June 19 and 20, saw local residents flock to Cape beaches to protest against mining activity. As per Zigzag Magazines’ Instagram, the aim of the action was to bring issues of the current and prospective mining activities on the West Coast “closer to home.”
Since then, organisers of the protest, Protect the West Coast, have released another statement on Instagram, along with a video to express their dismay.
The statement, captioned “OURS NOT MINES!” says:
“As most of you already know, this past weekend we ran a Beach Access Protest Activation. The aim of the activation was to highlight the growing issue of coastal mines on the West Coast, who are increasingly blocking public access to the beaches and coastline.
“The activation drew attention to how the public’s constitutionally mandated right to access the South African coast is being undermined by the presence of these mines and their hired security guards, such as at the Tormin mine and extension north of the Olifants River.
“While an unpleasant inconvenience for recreational coastal users, the legally murky issue of blocking public access to parts of the West Coast is also having an adverse impact on local communities, including fishers, the tourism industry and more – all of this, it seems, with government support.
“With several further mining prospecting applications now filed south of the Olifants towards Elands Bay, the issue of public access on the West Coast is set to become even more prevalent and represents only the thin end of the wedge when it comes to the issues surrounding the negative effects of these mines on coastal ecosystems and communities in the region.”
This is the short video shared through the Protect The West Coast platform that was taken by @flyonthewall_films. It showcases some of the destruction that is occurring and some footage from this weekend’s protest action.
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