Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday announced the commencement of an independent survey in Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape, where the community will decide if controversial mining will proceed in the area.

“On the basis of the outcomes of the survey, we will then take a firm decision on the way forward,” Mantashe said in a statement after meeting with the Xolobeni community.

“If mining goes ahead in Xolobeni, it must be sustainable and coexist with tourism, agriculture and other economic development initiatives.”

The mineral resources department said the survey was in line with one of the outcomes of the judgment in the High Court in Pretoria last year, calling for thorough consultation of the Xolobeni community prior to any granting of a mining right.

If the community says no, there will be no mining, if the community says yes, mining will proceed, the department said in a statement.

African News Agency (ANA)