The city's landmark Top Star Drive-in site is a shadow of its former self, after the mine dump it perched atop was levelled and re-mined for gold.
An aerial view of the old Top Star Drive-in in Johannesburg.
by Zwanga Mukhuthu of M&G
Fears that a facility to treat acid mine drainage could contaminate plants, animals and people. Government is forging ahead with a R1-billion project for the treatment of acid mine drainage in Ekurhuleni – despite a fierce backlash by residents and environmental experts over the millions of cubic metres of toxic, and possibly radioactive, sludge the project will churn out.
THE Gauteng agriculture and rural development department launched a five-year plan this week, to treat the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the province.
In the past few years people living around Johannesburg have become aware, thanks to environmental activists and visible evidence, that highly tainted water from old gold mines, dubbed AMD, is rising to surface and polluting water sources.
by Charlotte Mathews
In this four part series we begin with the protest action in Kagiso early this year. The residents of Kagiso on Johannesburg's West Rand are calling for the complete shut down of Mintails Mogale Gold. This mining operation began unrestrained blasting only 100m's away from their homes late in 2013. People describe an earthquake type effect which cracked their walls and foundations. The community then mobilised to have the mine shut down stating in their list of grievances various laws that had been contravened by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) Mogale City and the mining company.
Published by Media for Justice on 18 Apr 2014
"..in the light of the continuing pollution of one of our country's major river systems and one of our countries largest aquifers, and given the inadequacy of the current treatment plant, it does notmake any sense that several new opencast mine pits could have been authorised right on top of the recharge zone of the Western Basin Mine Void".
Mintails continue to contribute to the recharge (and subsequent decant from) of the Western Basin Mine Void water (by increasing the number of opencast areas through which recharge occurs), which [FSE] rightly say flow at about 20-30 Ml/day form the 17 and 18 Winze shaft areas. However, currently it is probably flowing at double that rate, due to the huge recharge surface area of the new opencast mine pits.
by Charlotte Matthews of Business Day
TACKLING the lethal and unsightly legacy of abandoned gold mines around Krugersdorp is not a task for the faint-hearted. But Australian-listed Mintails believes it can play a major role, at the same time as making money for its shareholders.
It is going to cost a lot of money and require some controversial decision-making to address the complex social and environmental problems on the West Rand that reflect illegal mining, communities encroaching on toxic mine tailings, and poisoned water.
PRETORIA. – Die departement van minerale hulpbronne gaan tot einde April R2,534 miljoen bestee aan bemarkingsveldtogte vir onder meer die omstrede nuwe mynbouregulasies. Dit sluit regulasies vir skaliegas in.
Living in the shadow of the old mine dumps, the dust is forever unsettling
Johannesburg sits atop the world's most productive gold reef -- a staggering 40,000 tons of the precious metal has been mined from it during a history tracing back 130 years. That legacy of riches has left behind a toxic inheritance: radioactivity from uranium hauled up in the mining process.
Scientists have found uranium quantities in rivers west of the city to be as much as 4,000 times natural levels and in tap water as much as 20 times higher. A soil sample taken by Bloomberg News and tested by government-certified WaterLab Ltd. from pumpkin roots grown a little more than a mile from a recently closed gold mine contained five times more uranium than background levels considered normal by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Die beleërde myngroep Mintails, wat goudherwinning uit ou mynhope aan die Wesrand doen en reeds vir langer as n week stil staan, het nou ook waarskuwings van die departement van waterwese ontvang.
Within days of Blyvoor Gold Mine's new owner taking over the mine, a mine sludge spillage polluted the environment with some of the toxic waste spilling into the Wonderfonteinspruit. Problems at Blyvoor started in August last year when the mine's previous owner, the company Village Main Reef, also known as Village, indicated that it will not take responsibility for the mine's losses anymore. In the meantime, DRDGold, the company which had owned Blyvoor before, also indicated that it does not want anything to do with the mine.
Pamodzi mine controversy drags on Aurora Empowerment Systems, whose board members included President Jacob Zuma's nephew Khulubuse Zuma, Nelson Mandela's grandson Zondwa Mandela and businessman Thulani Ngubane, was seen as the saviour of liquidated mining company Pamodzi Gold when it took over two of its mines in 2009.
FSE COMMENTS - Millsite Tailings Storage Facility Reclamation Project
Comments on the Millsite Tailings Storage Facility Reclamation Project: Wetland Sensitivity Mapping and Impact Assessment Freshwater Resource Assessment in the Vicinity of the Proposed Lindum Railway Decommissioning Freshwater Resource Assessment in the Vicinity of the Proposed Millsite Reclamation Surface Water Assessment Report Groundwater Assessment Report Integrated Water Use Licence Application for the Sibanye-Stillwater Rand Uranium/Cooke Operations Integrated Water and Waste Management Plan in support of the WULA The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Federation for Sustainable Environment (FSE). The FSE is a federation of community based civil society organisations committed to the realisation of the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to having the environment sustainably managed and protected for future generations. Their mission is specifically focussed on addressing the adverse impacts of mining and industrial activities on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities who live and work near South Africa’s mines and industries.
Presentations, including the FSE’s presentation, held at the conference “Linki...
The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) has refused ...
Battle to save Marico's river
De Beers has secured rights to prospect for kimberlite in the sensitive catchment of Groot Marico, but residents worry that minim firms could damage their pristine river, writes Sheree Bega
Saturday Star January 27 2018 No holds barred in draft National Master Plan for Water Sheree Bega South Africa’s water scarcity could rapidly get worse as supply contracts and demand escalates due to growth, urbanisation, unsustainable use, degradation of wetlands, water losses and a decline in rainfall because of climate change. This is one of the warnings contained in the new draft National Master Plan for Water and Sanitation. Based on current demand projections, the water deficit confronting the country could be between 2.7 and 3.8 billion cubic metres, a gap of about 17%, by 2030. As of July last year, according to the draft plan, South Africa has consumed more water per capita at about 237 * /c/d than the world average of around 173 * /c/d. To address crippling water shortages, desalinated sea water in coastal areas, and treated waste water, will increasingly be brought into the water mix - together with an increase in the use of groundwater. Desalination plants should “not be implemented as an emergency scheme, only to be used intermittently or during times of drought and inadequate supply from the conventional water resources,” the draft plan cautions. “These schemes are too costly to be moth-balled for any length of time.”
POLITICS WEB MINING AND PEOPLE: THE IMPACT OF MINING ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY AND LIVING STANDARDS INTRODUCTION AND SYNOPSIS There are two ways of looking at mining in South Africa. The first is to see it as a sunset industry plagued by rising costs, technical difficulties, and political hostility. The second is to see it as an industry well positioned for a new lease of life despite all the vicissitudes. Even though the attractiveness of South Africa for mining investment has declined, the country still has the world's richest reserves of precious minerals and base metals. Companies both large and small would like to exploit these. Some are doing so despite the political threats. Even more will do so if the threats can be effectively managed or reduced. According to the Chamber of Mines, investment over the next few years could almost double in the absence of threats.
FSE’s Preliminary Comments on the Minister of Water and Sanitation’s decision to consolidate the 9 Catchment Management Agencies into one Catchment Management Agency.
(Reg. No. 2007/003002/08) NPO NUMBER 062986-NPO PBO No. (TAX EXEMPT) 930 039 506 Postnet Suite 87 Private Bag X033 RIVONIA 2128 COMMENTS ON THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION’S DECISION TO IMPLEMENT A SINGLE CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT AGENCY (CMA) TO PERFORM WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FUNCTION IN THE NINE WATER MANAGEMENT AREAS. The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment. The Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) is a federation of community based civil society organisations committed to the realisation of the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to having the environment sustainably managed and protected for future generations. The FSE’s mission is specifically focussed on addressing the adverse impacts of mining and industrial activities on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities who live and work near South Africa’s mines and industries.
SUBMISSION ON THE DWS MASTER PLAN
WRITTEN SUBMISSION ON THE DRAFT 2.6: NATIONAL WATER AND SANITATION MASTER PLAN (NW&SMP) In this document, the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (“FSE”) submits comments on the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, draft 2.6 (the “draft plan”). THE FSE: The FSE is a federation of community based civil society organisations committed to the realisation of the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to having the environment sustainably managed and protected for future generations. Their mission is specifically focussed on addressing the adverse impacts of mining and industrial activities on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities who live and work near South Africa’s mines and industries. In accordance with the above-mentioned mission, the FSE’s comments are limited to matters pertaining to the mining industry. The FSE’s comments will be substantiated by real examples within the scope of the FSE’s experience and our active participation in a significant number of environmental impacts assessments, environmental management programme reports, water use license applications, environmental authorisations, steering committees, forums, task teams, teams of experts, academic research groups, boards, etc. over a period of 15 (fifteen years).  Kindly note that the Legal Resources Centre assisted with this publication.
Invitation by the DWS to participate in a working session regarding the draft National Water and Sanitation Master Plan: to be held on 2 February 2018 at the DBSA Conference Centre
The following preliminary comments on the National Water and Sanitation Master P...
Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that...