Shell interdict: Wild Coast communities say their voices were finally heard

Cape Town – Communities along the Wild Coast where Shell has been carrying out its seismic survey said that the voices of those directly affected by the blasting had finally been heard and the constitutional rights of indigenous people have been upheld.

The Grahamstown High Court in Makhanda on Tuesday granted an interim interdict, putting the brakes on the fuel giant’s project, at least for now.

This was the second urgent application made in a bid to stop Shell in its tracks.

The Amadiba Crisis Committee, which is representing the interests of the poor communities in the region, said that this case was about making sure that profit-making did not override human rights and giving rural communities a voice.

Nonhle Mbuthuma from the group said that as coastal communities they have relied on the sea for centuries and were glad that the court had recognised that their livelihood could not be sacrifices for short-term profit.

“This is about our livelihood. This livelihood of ours, we’ve lived [with] for centuries,” said Mbuthuma.

Before granting the interim interdict, Judge Gerald Bloem said that Shell should have meaningfully consulted with the communities and individuals who would be impacted by the seismic survey and based on the evidence provided, the fuel giant survey and based on the evidence provided, the fuel giant failed to do so.

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