South African Lawsuit Could Grant Rural Communities Right to Reject New Mining Projects

South Africans await judgement to be handed down in a court case that could set a sweeping precedent by empowering communities on communal land with the right to reject new mining projects. Calling the case a referendum on “the right to say no,” residents of several rural villages are asking the court to reinterpret current minerals extraction legislation to compel mining companies to gain explicit community consent prior to breaking ground on new operations. “The land is our identity. When we lose that land, we lose who we are,” Nonhle Mbuthuma, leader of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, said of the court case.