‘If our mine doesn’t go ahead, thousands of jobs will be lost’

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‘If our mine doesn’t go ahead, thousands of jobs will be lost’

CEO says 1,600 jobs will be gone in two years, and 20,000 will lose income, without the Somkhele expansion in KZN

Night news editor

If a proposed 220km2 expansion to the Somkhele open-cast coal mine in northern KwaZulu-Natal doesn’t go ahead, thousands will lose access to their income.

This is according to the Jan du Preez, CEO of Tendele, which owns the mine, in response to questions about the mine’s future - particularly since environmental groups and a community body head to the Supreme Court of Appeal this week to challenge the expansion.

The mine has been in sharp focus after the brutal assassination of anti-mining activist Fikile Ntshangase 10 days ago. Three gunmen walked into her home, asked her grandchildren to go outside while they “greeted” the 63-year-old, and then plugged her body with bullets. One of the shots was fired while Ntshangase lay on the ground, with a single bullet hole visible in the floor showing exactly where it happened...

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