Photo by Rob Symons

A court application has been brought by the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO) and it four co-applicants, GET, MACUA, SAHRDN and ActionAid SA against the decision made in 2016 by the Minister of Mineral Resources granting Tendele Coal Mining (Pty) Ltd a new mining right in Somkhele, an area falling between Mtubatuba and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, in north-eastern KwaZulu Natal. This new right allows Tendele to significantly extend its mining operations into three new areas displacing thousands more people in addition to those already affected by its existing mining operations that commenced in 2007.

Nearly three years after the application was first instituted in the Pretoria High Court to review and set aside Tendele’s Mining Right, and several postponements later, yesterday’s court hearing set down for 6 and 7 October was again postponed. 

This was the ruling of the Honourable Acting Judge Bam after she said that the parties had failed to file a Joint Practice Note setting out the facts that are common cause (i.e. the facts to which all parties agree) and those that are in dispute and remain to be argued before and decided by the court. 

Although the parties then proceeded to combine their respective practice notes into one, Acting Judge Bam said that it was evident that there was a lot of additional reading required and that the court hearing could not proceed. The applicants’ attorneys, All Rise have requested an urgent case management meeting with the Deputy Judge President to request new dates still before the end of this year and hope to be able to provide an update shortly.

For more detail on recent developments, please refer to:

  1.  Updated Somkhele project fact sheet
  2. Daily Maverick article by Tony Carnie (7 October 2021)

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