Minister Mantashe labels those opposed to gas exploration on the Wild Coast as ‘anti-development’

Minister Mantashe labels those opposed to gas exploration on the Wild Coast as ‘anti-development’

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has labelled those opposed to the exploration of gas off the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape as anti-development.

Mantashe was speaking during his visit to the AmaRharhabe Kingdom at Mngqesha Great Place in Qonce. He’s been engaging Traditional Leaders leaders to try and educate them about the number of planned projects to explore mineral resources in the province.

A seismic survey to explore gas and oil by Shell off the Wild Coast was interdicted by the Makhanda High Court, following an application by environmentalist and activist.

While the prospect of titanium mining in Xolobeni village remains in limbo due to the resistance of the community. The community believe these projects will impact the environment while the Xolobeni community accused Minister Mantashe of not engaging with them before awarding a mining licence to an Australian Company.

The residents  of AmaRharhabe Kingdown welcomed the engagement..

“The meeting went well, it was very helpful especially for people from rural areas who are not well informed.2.We thank the minister for the meeting because we have lots of problems where mineral resources are hotly contested.”

The AmaRharhabe Kingdom Spokesperson, Burns Ncamashe, says communities should be at the forefront of decision making that affects them.

“What we want is to ensure that nobody should speak on behalf of rural community, we believe that rural communities are capable enough to articulate anything that concerns them.”

Mantashe says they won’t be any economic growth in the province if every development is opposed…

“Anybody who is pushing back against exploration, I rate that person as anti- development because it says we must not do anything, we must go and sleep and that should be confronted with everything we have.”

Mantashe says a balance must be struck between preserving the environment and growing the economy while creating jobs.

He says compensation should not be at the forefront before exploration as this shows greed.

Mantashe says gas exploration on the Wild Coast will create opportunities for locals

Protestors gather to oppose Shell seismic survey operations 

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