Development: Marchers threaten blockades

2008-11-26 00:00

THE Macambini clan on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast has threatened to bring the economy of the province to its knees by blocking the two road corridors that link two economic hubs, Richards Bay and Empangeni.

The community has given Premier S’bu Ndebele until December 3 to stop pursuing the R55 billion tourism development by the Dubai-based Ruwaad Corporation in their area, which they say will result in between 8 000 and 10 000 people being evicted from their homes.

They threatened that if Ndebele fails to respond, thousands of people will block the N2 and R102 until their demands are met.

The demand is in a memorandum handed over to Professor Musa Xulu from Ndebele’s office at Mandeni police station yesterday.

More than 5 000 people, including children as young as eight, marched from the Isithebe industrial area to the police station.

The Macambini community reportedly stands to lose control of over 16 556 hecatres of their land should the planned development go ahead.

Traditional leader inkosi Khayelihle Mathaba, the Ingonyama Trust Board, which manages all tribal land in the province, and the community have all criticised the provincial government for failing to consult.

They claim that Ndebele, who is behind the project, and Ruwaad, have failed to consult them and they have resolved not to allow the Dubai company to carry out the project.

What makes the community even angrier is that Ndebele is currently suing Mathaba for defamation over statements that Mathaba allegedly made during one of the meetings where the development was discussed.

Community spokesman Herbert Mbambo described Ndebele as arrogant, saying that he has ignored their concerns.

“We have invited Ndebele several times but he refused to come and listen to our concerns. We will teach him a lesson by blocking the roads during the festive months when a lot of goods are transported,” he said.

The two roads are extensively used by people who travel to Mozambique, Swaziland and small towns in northern Zululand.

Provincial director General Dr Kwazi Mbanjwa said government would continue to consult people.

bmthembu@witness.co

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