Earthcrimes: Limpopo’s dirty great white elephant (Part One)

By Sam Sole for amaBhungane

Government’s plan to develop a R40bn Chinese-controlled energy and metallurgical industrial complex at the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone in Limpopo is founded on quicksand.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) outsourced the development and management of a coal-burning, water-guzzling, capital-soaking, heavy industrial zone in Limpopo to an obscure Hong Kong-based businessman, Yat Hoi Ning, who was removed as chief executive of his previous company amid allegations of misconduct and fraud.

The DTI did this despite there being publicly available information on the allegations against Ning and his associates; despite no feasibility study being done on the project; and despite the environmental pre-feasibility study identifying critical environmental issues such as the project’s high water requirements in a water-scarce area.

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