Fransfontein, a small town in Namibia, has become the latest in the increasing cases of the conflict between conversation initiative, on the one hand, and profit-driven mining activity, on the other, The New Era reported.
A group of Chinese investors, in partnership with Namibians, are drawing up plans to launch a mining project in //Huab Conservancy, a “sensitive” area in Fransfontein, which is exclusively for the protection of endangered rhinos. Allegedly, the local partners have been promised a stake in the project, once the mining activity begins.
The Swartbooi Traditional Authority in the area fears that a mining project might have an effect on the ecosystem at the //Huab Conservancy has rhinos, once the mine is at an operational phase.
Deputy Kaptein Essegiel /Uirab of the Swartbooi Traditional Authority, said, “This area is zoned for rhinos for their safety and such wildlife was moved to the area a few years ago. Tourists visit this area for that purpose and the conservancy does not allow disturbance either from mining or hunting.”
He explained that due to the sensitivity of the area no heavy machinery and explosions from dynamite are allowed in the area.
Two years ago, a community in Xolobeni, situated on the Wild Coast of South Africa, successfully opposed plans by an Australia firm to launch a mining project, but not without bloodshed, as a community leader was gunned down. It was suspected community members who were set to benefit from the mining project had a hand in the death.