PRESS RELEASE — For Immediate Release

April 12th, 2016

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JOHANNESBURG – 350Africa welcomes the suspension of COAL of Africa’s (CoAL’s) integrated water -use licence for the proposed Makhado coal project.  [1]

“This is fantastic news.  The suspension is representative of the immense power that affected people and communities have when we stand together against an unjust cause such as the approval of a mining water license that would lead to destruction in the area,” said Lerato Letebele, 350Africa communications manager.

The socio ecological impacts that the area will face due to the mining project, include contributing to the irreversible damage to the World Heritage Site, the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape located in Limpopo.

In January when the government approved the water-use licence, 350Africa sent a statement calling for a climate change state of emergency and a moratorium on new water licences. [2] ‘’This is a good start. Government now needs to ensure that there is a moratorium for new water licenses and declare a climate change state of emergency,’’ continued Letebele.

Initially, water was to be obtained from boreholes for the construction phase, and would be supplemented by some 4.6 million litres per day of water to be obtained from the Nzhelele Dam. The Nzhelele Dam supplies water for formal agriculture while also feeding the demand from the mine.

The expansion of mines in the area is threatening the social, economical and ecological livelihood of the community.  The vast water required for coAL’s Makhado and Vele Mine is just not feasible.  Residents already lack sufficient water for basic needs.

The Vhembe Mineral Resources Forum, made of up concerned citizens, farmers and residents of Limpopo can claim this victory.  The suspension of the water license will serve as a major setback for CoAL.



Notes to Editor

[1] Coal of Africa’s Makhado water licence suspended

[2] Climate Change State of Emergency


Lerato Letebele 350Africa Communications Manager +27 11 339 1035;