Only a month after the climate crisis conference in Glasgow, multinational Shell will explore the seabed in the ocean along the Wild Coast trying to find oil and gas.
As a part of ‘Operation Phakisa’, Shell’s project has been allowed by our government, as if the threat of global heating from burning more and more fossil fuels doesn’t exist.
The high noise blasting of sonar canons under water for ‘seismic testing’ is a direct threat to whales, dolphins, our famous king fish and all kinds of marine life. It is also a threat against the livelihood of communities along the Wild Coast and in KZN that use the riches of the sea to put food on the table and to get an income. This is our ‘Ocean’s Economy’. It is about food, not about mining the ocean to make profit for the minority rich who think you can eat money.
Aside of the risk for future oil spill into the sea, if Shell finds oil and gas, drilling in the seabed threatens to bring a host of toxic substances into the water, like mercury, lead, arsenic and barium. These toxins are devastating for the health of fish and ocean wildlife as well as all who live on the coast, like we do in Amadiba. But the lives of indigenous people are now under threat as well as the jobs of fishermen. In addition, the ocean is not only a part of our local economy. It is also a part of our spiritual life.
For over two decades, the coastal Amadiba community has fought against opencast mining on our land. Now we also must fight against mining of the ocean. Indigenous people along the whole coast of Africa must have the right to say no everything that threatens their livelihood: the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent.
We call upon the South African government to acknowledge the climate crisis. More and more expansion of the fossil fuel economy is not the solution to the economic crisis. You cannot bring about the economic recovery by threatening our livelihoods and the ecology of the ocean. You cannot solve one problem by creating a new problem. Put the lives of people before profits. Withdraw the license given to Shell for preparing mining in the ocean.
We call upon all the people along the whole coast to join the protest. Global warming and destruction of our life environment affect us all. #PHANTSI EXTRACTIVISM, PHANTSI!
On Sunday 5 December, the people of Amadiba will start by 9.00AM to march from Mnyameni beach. The people of the South Coast will start at Wild Coast Sun by 10.00AM. Our meeting point will be the Mzamba estuary.
All media is invited.
Amadiba Crisis Committee
For more information:
Nonhle Mbuthuma, 0763592982 and Cromwell Sonjica, 0630523090