“The environmental impact assessment still contains inadequate specialist studies, inappropriate findings, does not address the cumulative impact of the project as a whole, and lacks mitigating measures for the cumulative impacts of the project.”
The civil rights organisations say even if all procedures were followed, authorisation should still not be issued because of the project’s “negative consequences for climate change, water scarcity in the region, and the effect the project will have on cultural heritage and human health”.
Dzomo la Mupo’s Mphatheleni Makaulule said this environment contains sacred sites including forests, rivers, lakes and trees which are “irreplaceable and important to local communities’ way of life and heritage”.
“These sacred sites are part of our culture, our history, our livelihood and our way of being. These and many ancestral burial sites have not been identified, including any agreement related to exhuming ancestors’ graves.
“MMSEZ are failing to address the concerns of marginalised communities about their cultural rights to these spiritual sites, which have been affected since the apartheid era due to forced relocations. MMSEZ are violating our human rights and the MMSEZ project is resulting in community division and conflict when we try to address these issues.”
The MMESZ SOC will have 20 days to respond to the appeal, and depending on the process followed, the decisionmaker will have about 50 days to make a recommendation on the appeal.
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