The Assegai Pty Ltd Gas-to-Power Project in Saldanha Bay has withdrawn its application for the proposed gas mining in the area. This decision came after the Saldanha Bay community was not included in any consultations or public participation processes. The community came together and affirmed their right to say no to mining.
The Saldanha Bay community welcomed the decision of the withdrawal but were sceptical of other potential mining companies coming into their communities to carve out their oceans for the same reasons.
Carmelita Mostert, a local fisher from Saldanha said, “While fishers are happy with the news that Assegai has withdrawn its application, the current air of mistrust – since the community was not involved in the process from the start – means we are wary of becoming too comfortable. This is why local communities must remain vigilant and prepared, should anyone decide to start this process up again.”
At the time of the withdrawal, small-scale fishing communities and others whose livelihoods depend on the ocean, had mobilised and planned a number of actions to show their dissatisfaction for the mining project.
Coastal communities are constantly short-changed by a government that prioritises the carving up of traditional water bodies for mining exploration,” said Naseegh Jaffer, director of Masifundise.
“This mining would have had devastating effects on small-scale fishers and the available coastal and marine resources. We cannot allow extractive activities to take claim of livelihoods and ecosystems. We must protect our coasts from mining,“ he said.
“This is major victory for the small-scale fishing communities in Saldanha Bay. We commend them for standing against mining and protecting their shores.”