16 June 2017 at 9:21 am
The Mabola Protected Environment falls within the Ekangala-Drakensberg Strategic Water Sources Area that contains the all or most of the sources of the Vaal, Tugela, Usutu and Pongola Rivers. Despite this, the government has approved a licence to mine coal in this hotpost. The Centre for Environmental Rights are representing a coalition of organisations in a string of legal challenges aimed at preventing the Indian-owned Atha-Africa Ventures Pty Ltd from building this mine, which will have devastating consequences for communities in the vicinity and downstream users.
Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism broke the story in 2015, and recently paid a site visit to the Mabola headwaters. Text: Oscar Nkala. Photos & drone footage: Johnny Miller/AfricanDrone.