Gwede Mantashe, who is the National Chairperson of the ANC, claimed that he was not aggressively pushing for the Xolobeni mining project and that the majority of the community supports its implementation.
Below are some of Gwede Mantashe’s quotes on the matter.
“Ten organizations made presentations. Of these, nine were for the development of both mining and tourism, and one, Amadiba Crisis Committee, made a presentation against mining development in the area. Ward 25 in Bizana, of which Xolobeni is part, is the poorest in the area with high levels of illiteracy and dependence on social grants.” – Gwede Mantashe, The Citizen, 27 September 2018
“The community wants to use tourism and mining to develop itself further. It’s not tourism versus mining. It’s tourism and mining. It is important that consultation is allowed to proceed peacefully, so a final determination can be made on this matter, which is long-standing. We must allow mining alongside other developmental issues.” – Gwede Mantashe, IOL, 27 September 2018
“We have established a team which will go back to kwaSomkhele early next week to deal in detail with issues raised by communities. Following the visit, the team will make recommendations with a view to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges there.” – Gwede Mantashe, The Citizen, 27 September 2018