The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has used a "sledgehammer" for its R1bn treatment plant for acid mine drainage (AMD) on the Eastern mining basin that could ultimately create more toxic water.
This is the view of water strategy and consulting mining hydrologist Kym Morton, who believes government is "wasting money" by pumping large volumes of water and adding lime that makes it alkaline but still toxic and hazardous.
Focus on preventing illness rather than incurring the expense of treatment.
In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green because the sprinklers run all day. There's little sense of alarm at the fast-declining water levels in the Vaal water system after which the suburb is named.
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment has objected to the Water Use Licence granted to Sedibelo Platinum Mine within the Moses Kotane Local Municipality, North West Province.
An extract from the objection follows, and the full document is available to download.
Water affairs and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane is in the cross-hairs of the Public Protector after delaying South Africa’s Lesotho Highlands Water Project, allegedly to award contracts to a company she has a long-standing relationship with.
This is according to a report by the City Press, noting that the Public Protector will meet with Mokonyane over the issue this week.
The project has been delayed by over a year due to Mokonyane’s direct intervention, the report said, pushing its completion date to 2025, and pushing the price up to R26 billion.
The entire project is being funded by taxpayers.
Senior officials told the City Press that the delay was forced by Mokonyane so that consulting firm, LTE Consulting, could get involved.
According to the City Press’ findings, LTE has been awarded R5 billion worth of contracts in water and sanitation over the past year. It was also found that the company had donated as much as R3.5 million to the ANC in the past two months.
The standard fee for consultation is 10% of the total cost, the paper said, meaning a spot on the water project could net the company as much as R2.6 billion.
Executives from LTE have reportedly been contacting and paying delegates involved with the project, trying to convince them the give them tenders. When told by officials that the company had to bid for tenders, LTE CEO Thulani Majola allegedly said that he was not interested in bidding, and would approach Mokonyane directly.
Subsequently, the bids for a number of tenders – from other companies – were rejected by the department soon thereafter.
In response to the country's need to take an improved integrated approach to Water Quality Management, the Department of Water and Sanitation has recently initiated a project to revise its current Water Quality Management (WQM) Policies and Strategies.
The Department of Water and Sanitation's existing treatment programme involving pumping acid mine drainage out of the Witwatersrand basin and then partially treating the water by neutralising it will not assist in alleviating the challenge in the long term, says the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) CEO Mariette Liefferink.
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Environmental risk analyst Dr Anthony Turton has vehemently denied claims by independent environmental organisation the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) that tailings extractor Mintails has not complied with the terms of its water-use licence (WUL) and other environmental requirements to the extent that makes it criminally culpable.
Mariette Lierfferink, CEO of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment states that while the Department of Water and Sanitation alleges that the Acid Mine Drainage situation is no longer a reason for concern, the investigation report by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) adduces evidence to the contrary.
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Although acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand basin is the result of a legacy of environmental mismanagement of water resources by mines and lax enforcement of regulations by government, these role-players are working to constructively address this problem, says Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) senior manager Marius Keet.
In Mpumalanga the Escarpment Environmental Protection Group (EEPOG) and the Wonderfontein Community Organisation have applied to the Pretoria High Court for an order to reinstitute the Water Tribunal.
Anglo Gold Ashanti Ltd., Africa's largest producer of the metal, said it spilled toxic waste from a gold-dump treatment unit into a tributary of South Africa's Vaal River.
By Kevin Crowley
‘Fracking threatens our water resources’: This was the topic in the third of WWF and SAfm’s Decisive Debate series.
South Africa’s anti-corruption ombudsman has begun a probe into water pollution allegedly caused by mining companies.
The inquiry by the Public Protector is in its early stages, spokesman Oupa Segalwe said by e-mail.
“The investigation has to do with alleged pollution of water as a result of mining operations in a number of provinces,” Segalwe said.
By Kevin Crowley
Ransacked Gold Mine Venture Reboots
South African mining veteran Peter Skeat is pressing ahead with plans to squeeze more gold out of an 80-year-old ransacked gold mine west of Johannesburg after settling a dispute with three former partners.
LLM/MPhil in Environmental Law Programme launched
The Department of Public Law at the University of Pretoria hosted a launch of its LLM and MPhil programmes in Environmental Law, coordinated by Ms Melanie Murcott, Senior Lecturer, Environmental and Administrative Law, in February 2017.
The FSE will be presenting at a keynote panel discussion at "The Water Show Africa" on the 29th of March.
The launch of Acid mine drainage in South Africa: Development actors, policy impacts and broader implications, by Suvania Naidoo, took place on 10 February 2017. The book has proven to be a timely publication because of the incipient water crisis in South Africa. The event was hosted by Unisa’s Department of Development Studies in the College of Human Sciences. The guests were welcomed by the chair of the department, Prof Gretchen du Plessis, who expressed that “development studies is an ever-changing discipline and is a space where different issues converge”. She further stated that the book fills a void in our knowledge about acid mine drainage (AMD) and that the publication is “an example of hard work which results in big achievements”.
A new hard-hitting report from Harvard Law School details how South Africa has failed to meet its human rights obligations concerning gold mining in and around Joburg. Bonnie Docherty, who led the research, spoke to Sheree Bega
Eastern Basin acid water plant is "sledgehammer"
The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has used a "sledgehammer" for its R1bn treatment plant for acid mine drainage (AMD) on the Eastern mining basin that could ultimately create more toxic water. This is the view of water strategy and consulting mining hydrologist Kym Morton, who believes government is "wasting money" by pumping large volumes of water and adding lime that makes it alkaline but still toxic and hazardous.
Focus on preventing illness rather than incurring the expense of treatment....
In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green be...