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Destroying the Wild Coast – the illegal sand mining crisis

Author: Landia Davies

The Wild Coast of South Africa is known as a remote and rugged region, largely unaltered by human development, but times are changing. Today the once-pristine sand dunes are being denuded one truckload at a time.

Undermining the hard earned, yet tenuous, wins in protracted battles against proposed titanium mining and toll road construction this coastal region is now being destroyed for far less socio-economic gain in order to meet domestic demands for building sand.

In the Eastern Cape building sand is in high demand, creating a gap in the market for shameless opportunists who are profiting from the free resources being plundered. Sand mining is a lucrative, albeit criminal business that feeds the rising construction demand both in this developing region and further inland. Journalists’ investigations have revealed that the unlawfully mined sand is being used to construct government schools, RDP houses and private homes.

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