Wild Coast locals hit land jackpot but infighting thwarts payout

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Wild Coast locals hit land jackpot but infighting thwarts payout

Hailed as an unprecedented empowerment project, with ecotourism projects thrown in, the deal is in tatters

Chris Makhaye

A model community-owned tourism development venture along the Wild Coast is being held to ransom by a bitter dispute by beneficiaries over the spoils of a R50m landmark claim deal.

Earlier in 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa was scheduled preside at a ceremony to officially hand over title deeds to the Umgungundlovu community for the scenic, Indian Ocean-facing 700ha land between Umzamba and Mthavuna rivers and where the multimillion-rand Wild Coast Sun Casino and Resort stands.

But a meeting to discuss preparation for this event – held in the local Mzamba community hall in February 2019 – broke into chaos as residents were split between those supporting the current leadership of the Umgungundlovu community property association (CPA) executive committee whose members were elected in 2014, and those supporting its previous committee leadership...

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