HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - REPORT ON THE NATIONAL HEARING ON THE UNDERLYING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHALLENGES OF MINING AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
The SAHRC launched its Report on the National Hearing on the Underlying Socio-economic Challenges of Mining-affected Communities in South Africa on the 22nd of August 2018. The FSE participated in the Hearing and many of its issues of concern are addressed in the Report. The Report may be opened here as a PDF document.
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) has appealed the environmental authorisation for the expansion of the mining operations of Pilanesberg Platinum Mines within a highest biodiversity sensitive area and a national freshwater ecosystem priority area, which the FSE alleges, will adversely impact on the functionality and viability of the proposed Heritage Park.
It is envisioned that the proposed Heritage Park will establish the third largest conservation estate of about 270 000ha to ultimately create a migratory corridor for bigger mammals by combining the Pilanesberg National Park with the Madikwe Game Reserve.
The world has become sober to the unimaginable power of uranium after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and recently, Fukushima.
A new set of serious health problems, collectively known as Gulf War Syndrome, and epidemiological data from the Wismut cohort have become available to researchers.
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.
In April 2015 we were informed of the EIA/EMP report for the proposed changes to surface infrastructure at Pilanesberg Platinum Mine (DREAD REF: NWP/EIA/88/2011. DEA REF NO: 12/9/11/L750/7).
The Applicant is Itereleng Bakgatla Mineral Resources (Pty) Ltd (Ibmr), now Pilanesberg Platinum Mine (PPM). On the 13th of February 2014, ministerial consent was granted in terms of Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 28 of 2002, ceding the IBMR Mining Right to PPM.
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment's (FSE) position on the re-mining and consolidation of poorly managed, poorly constructed and poorly monitored historical tailings storage facilities, which are significant sources of water and windblown dust pollution, has been published in a number of academic papers, government reports and comments and response reports.
While the FSE recognises the importance of mining in South Africa, it is also sober to the fact that mining has the potential for significant negative impacts on the environment. As early as 1987, the US Environmental Protection Agency recognised that .....problems related to mining waste may be rated as second only to global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion in terms of ecological risk. The release to the environment of mining waste can result in profound, generally irreversible destruction of ecosystems.â€
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment continues to engage on Pilansberg issues, including sense of place, water, compliance, mining, eco-tourism, tourism, enviornmental management framework, biodiversity and regional impacts.
Ms Margaret-Ann Diedricks Director General of the Department of Water and Sanitation presented the strategic objectives for the coming 5 years and the reflection of the Water and Sanitation Summit Declaration and Outcomes.
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment addressed the ENVASS conference in October. The conference is promoted as "one of a kind" and attempts to cover the most pertinent environmental matters applicable to the South African industry.