Our goals for 2023 are to:
1. WIELD LEGAL POWER IN THE COURTS
Following our legal victory in the form of an out-of-court agreement with mining company Trans Hex (and a subsequent court order preventing them from mining in several sensitive areas of the West Coast, including the Olifants River Estuary), Protect The West Coast will continue to wield legal power in the courts to hold the mining industry and government truly accountable.
2. GAIN MEDIA COVERAGE & CREATE AWARENESS
Protect The West Coast will continue to build on our robust public relations and media coverage strategy, which has resulted in the issue of mining on the West Coast being publicised in several local and international media recently, including coverage in the The Daily Maverick, eNCA, Sunday Times, Cape Talk, Agence France-Presse, and many others. This also includes regular posts on social media, especially our 11,800 Instagram followers and regular updates to our more than 1,200 email subscribers.
3. DEVELOP & SUPPORT COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERS
We will continue to foster productive dialogue between stakeholders against mining (and oil and gas) and promote action and activism, including with our partners Run West, as well as among local communities, farmers, fellow NPOs, law clinics, academics, and government organisations such as Cape Nature (chief custodian of the Western Cape’s natural environment). We will also continue to promote the public participation process and engagement via public objections to mining applications.
OUR MEDIUM-TERM GOAL: A MINING MORATORIUM & SEA
PTWC calls for an urgent moratorium on all prospecting and mining for oil and gas, diamonds and heavy mineral sands until a comprehensive, all-in-one Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of this coast is completed. Guided by fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution, this document evokes applicable environmental and mining statutes, and enforces the correct oversight of mining authorisations.
An SEA would provide a context-specific, sustainability led and integrated document that guides the decision-making of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) with correct and timely information on the impact of mining in the area contained in an application. An SEA would detail existing natural resources and biophysical aspects; identify ecologically and culturally sensitive areas; interrogate current land use types; and speak to indigenous, farming, fishing and recreational communities who rely on and utilise these areas. West Coast communities, already under significant pressure, cannot be further impoverished in pursuit of short term benefits touted by mining houses in what is an already critically biodiverse, water scarce and sensitive environment.
An SEA would provide a vital tool to promote sustainable development, which the DMRE and DFFE are mandated to strive towards. Without an SEA, each mining application is considered ad hoc and in a vacuum, which serves the mining interests and no-one else.