Soweto, Johannesburg - Thousands of people face evacuation from greater Johannesburg in the Gauteng province - the economic heartland of South Africa - due to toxic sludge from abandoned gold mines laced with high radiation levels.
In the wasteland that is Johan Kondos’s farm, a lush green field brings hope.
“This is what a farm is supposed to look like,” he says, gesturing proudly to his prized lucerne crop, seemingly untainted by the surrounding mining pollution.
This lone field, and a few beloved cattle, is all Kondos has left of his farm in Hartbeesfontein in the North West.
"The findings of the recent Winde Report are significantly anomalous to the findings of public domain official reports and peer reviewed academic reports," says Mariette Liefferink, CEO of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment.
Following a request by two major banks, the Mine Water Research Group of the North-West University, conducted a desk-top study to assess how far underground infrastructure in the CBD of Johannesburg may be affected by rising mine water levels in the Central Rand. This follows the approval by Cabinet to allocate R225 million to mitigate effects of acid mine drainage (AMD), which in turn was based on a report of a Team of Experts to the Inter-ministerial Committee on AMD.
While the study by Prof. Winde and his team focused on the flooding risks of basement structures in the CBD, it also addressed a range of related issues. These include, amongst others, the identification of sources of water filling the mine void (ingress), factors controlling the rate of rise of the mine water table, and the expected volume of water overflowing from the flooded void (decant). Based on the evaluation of pertinent scientific and technical reports as well as primary data provided by the mining industry, the study also addressed a range of other risks possibly associated with the filling of the Central Basin.
How is the purpose of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment defined?
Plans to mine for coal in the catchment areas of major rivers present a serious threat to South Africa's fresh water resources.
Acid pollution caused by coal mining has already destroyed the Wilge River that flows through the Ezemvelo Reserve near Bronkhorstpruit, Mpumalanga, and has caused mass deaths of fish and crocodiles at the Olifants River inlet to Loskop Dam, between Middelburg and Groblersdal.
Die Federasie vir ’n Volhoubare Omgewing (FVO) wil die regering hof toe vat om hom te dwing om van die myne aan die Wes-Rand te help om suur mynwater te beheer.
Dié water gaan vermoedelik “binne dae” by skagte en fonteine begin uitborrel.
Just as the Tweelopiespruit took its dying breaths, Garfield Krige scooped up the contaminated stream's last surviving fish and took them home with him to his fish pond in the nearby Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site. "I don't think they're unique in any way," explains Krige, a hydrologist, of the hardy tilapia population that clung to life and now breeds happily in his pond.
"But they are the last survivors of the Tweelopiespruit. Maybe one day the government will clean up the river and we can put these fish back as their descendants." After about a decade of daily poisoning from the millions of litres of acid mine drainage (AMD) (the toxic and radioactive water seeping from the abandoned mines on the West Rand) there is no life in the Tweelopiespruit.
Die Mpumalanga-regering het sy stem dik gemaak oor die Glisa-steenkoolmyn van Exxaro, die land se grootste myngroep in swart besit en een van die “sterre” op die JSE se Volhoubaarheidsindeks.
Die provinsiale departement van omgewing- en ekonomiese sake het die myngroep se aansoek om omgewingsgoedkeuring vir dié myn, wat so groot soos sowat 2 000 rugbyvelde is, Vrydag van die hand gewys.
Mariette Liefferink’s red high-heeled sandals sink into the watery earth. She totters to a mining pit overflowing with copper water that is stained like blood. That this is filled with partially treated acid mine drainage (AMD) is a small victory for the environmental activist.
It’s all about the money
The hazardous mining by-product raises two questions – who’s to blame and who should pay. The acid mine drainage crisis is going to cost someone a lot of money, but probably not the people who caused it. The “polluter pays” principle was next to impossible to apply to the acid mine drainage problem in a retrospective way, said Marius Keet, chief director for mine water management at the department of water and sanitation.
Addressing waste and pollution of the past
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment is proud to announce the launch of the booklet titled “Rehabilitation of Mine Contaminated Eco-Systems. A Contribution to a Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy to Combat Unemployment and Climate Change” by Mariette Liefferink of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE). The booklet was commissioned by the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) in collaboration with the Friedrick Ebert Stiftung.
Byna 10 000 mense sal verskuif moet word as Anglo Operations Ltd en Canyon Coal hul sin kry om ’n massiewe oopgroefsteenkoolmyn oos van Springs te begin.
Johannesburg - A 19-month data investigation of mine closures indicates that since at least 2011 no large coal mines operating in South Africa have been granted closure.
Drie direkteure van die Blyvooruitzicht- en Village Main Reef-goudmyn buite Carletonville kan ’n boete van tot R10 miljoen of tien jaar tronkstraf opgelê word weens die beweerde besoedeling en agteruitgang van die omgewing.
Coalition defending Mpumalanga water source area
Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that has been resisting the proposed coal mine inside a protected area and strategic water source area in Mpumalanga launched further proceedings in the Pretoria High Court.
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