The management of the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park in KwaZulu-Natal, one of Africa’s largest estuarine systems, has appointed a team to study the processes around an application for dune mining along its buffer zone and the surrounding area of Maphelane. Located in St Lucia, the park is SA’s third-largest protected area, spanning 280km of coastline from the Mozambican border in the north to Maphelane south of the Lake St Lucia estuary, and is made up of about 3,280km² of natural ecosystems. In December 1999, the park was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. The mining application by Eyamakhosi Resources, a company formed by businesspeople from the local KwaSokhulu area, and whose director is former Richard Bay Minerals employee Sicebi Mthethwa, was launched with the mineral resources department earlier this year. The application has sparked protests by environmental activists; however, locals have complained that they are not benefiting from the area as is. Environmental groups, inc...

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