The open cast coal mine in Somkhele is operating since 2007, in the uMkhanyakude District (one of the 11 districts of the KwaZulu-Natal Province). This district is known for its lack of hydraulic resources and its poor delivery services of water and sanitation. This situation is worse in Mtubatuba area for the Somkhele mine which uses underground water to wash the coal, incrementing the area’s water scarcity. Somkhele open cast coal mine is only 10 kilometers upstream from Mtubatuba on the Mfolozi river. The mine is located only 10 kilometers away from the proposed Fuleni mine (see case on the EJAtlas), opposed by the surrounding inhabitants. The mine operated without a water use license until August 2014, it was therefore violating national mining and water use laws during its first 8 years. Numerous communities of the uMkhanyakude District suffer water shortages whereas the Department of Water Affairs removed five water tankers by the beginning of the year 2016 with no explanation. Early in 2016, kwaMsani township was left with no water for weeks. The inhabitants have to cope with the lack of water by themselves, having whether to travel more than 2 kilometers to collect water from communal water tap or to buy it from private dealers, including smugglers selling illegal water from the dry Mfolozi river.