Environmental, Climate and Community Justice

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Divided we Dance

Directed by Anna Prichard

what we do

We believe that focusing on community and their human rights is vital. Only then can we properly protect the environment, our wildlife and stave off further climate change.

 

If you’ve got no land, you’ve got no hope. - Sabelo Dladla

 

At the heart of the Zulu Kingdom lies a core conservation area, the historic Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). Not only is it the oldest protected area in Africa (dating back to 1895 and even earlier if one considers the protection it enjoyed as a royal hunting area under King Shaka’s reign), it is also world-renowned for conversation research and practice, and home to the big five and many other iconic African animal species.

 

Not far from the iconic Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site that boasts seven ecosystems. The terrestrial and marine biodiversity  extraordinarily beautiful region is dependent on fresh water supplies from the Mfolozi river for its survival.

 

All of this is threatened by open-cast coal mines on its boundary, where mining is expected to continue for over 30 years. The blasting of rock by dynamite, dust from coal and rock sediment, the noise of machinery operating 24/7, continual transportation of coal by trucks, extraction and pollution of water, and much more is having a detrimental and traumatising effect on the wildlife, environment and humans living in the area.

 

The Fuleni Coal Mine will directly affect 7 villages and an estimated 16 500 people. On the periphery of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, the Somkhele open cast coal mine is operating within the Mfolozi community. Many local residents have had to leave their land and homes to make way for mining operations. They have lost access to grazing areas for their cattle and are concerned about the risks to their health from polluted air and water. Homestead structures are cracking, and the remains of deceased family members have been dug up and moved to new graves, with many identities lost in the process.

 

Represented by attorney Kirsten Youens, the community submitted to court that the Somkhele mine was operating without environmental authorisation, municipal planning approval, waste disposal licence nor permits to shift ancestral graves. Expansion plans of a further 222km2 is also subject to
a court battle.

 

The ongoing battle against Tendele Mining and the brave fight of the community to hold onto its land and resources is captured in the compelling short international film, Divided we Dance.