Protect The West Coast is dedicated to informing and empowering civil society to stand against unjust mining activity on the West Coast. We believe in wielding the power of legal action to hold companies and the government accountable. We inspire a deep connection to the region’s biodiversity and cultural heritage.
From the Orange River to Cape Columbine, hundreds of kilometres of the South Africa’s West Coast coastline are being mined, or have been earmarked for mining. These industrial-scale extractions have lasting consequences for local communities, fisheries and the natural environment, for generations to come.
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Our Strategic Goals for 2023 are to:
Mining, despite providing limited short-term economic benefits, adversely affects ecosystems and has a much larger detrimental knock-on effect on the broader West Coast environment, economy and society over the long term.
There are currently more than 30 prospecting and mining applications, as well as scores of active mines on the West Coast.
One Ocean Hub (OOH) researchers at the Environmental and Geographical Science Department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) have developed a much-needed integrated project to monitor, document and map all applications for prospecting and mining, including oil and gas exploration, on the West Coast of South Africa.
Over the past two years, this work has highlighted the rapid increase in applications for prospecting and mining for heavy mineral sands and diamonds in the region, as well as applications for oil and gas exploration and production. These activities have raised significant concerns amongst coastal communities and their social partners.
Intended as an invaluable resource to NGOs such as Protect The West Coast (PTWC), researchers and affected communities, the map and data is freely available in a Google spreadsheet on OOH’s website. A table provides a list of each recent application and its status, as well as a map of current and recently approved applications. A few on the northern Cape coast will be added shortly.
OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1996
Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
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