Harvard Report: The Cost of Gold

Written by  Thursday, 13 October 2016 09:23
Rate this item
(0 votes)

A report has been published by the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic titled "The Cost of Gold: Environmental, Health, and Human Rights Consequences of Gold Mining in South Africa’s West and Central Rand.  

The reports states, "The complex web of responsible government agencies and repeated legislative changes to that organizational structure have impeded the development of a coordinated plan to deal with the negative effects of mining. The limited scope of action, inadequate attention to at-risk communities, and insufficient consideration of environmental concerns have undermined the completeness of any response."

 

The authors further recommend that given the severe and ongoing nature of the situation, "government should take immediate steps to rectify the inadequacies of its efforts. In particular, it should develop and implement a national-level program dedicated specifically to reducing the adverse effects of mining in the West and Central Rand. If coordinated and comprehensive, this program would help South Africa protect its communities and their environment, meet the country’s legal obligations, and promote realization of human rights." 

The report highlights that the people affected by mining do not have information about mining and its impacts, concluding this "has impinged on their awareness and understanding of the situation and thus magnified the threats they face. It has also deprived them of data necessary to identify better protections for the environment and their health."

"In many cases, local people have not been informed in advance of mining projects that directly relate to their lives. Parliamentarian Gareth Morgan, shadow minister of water and environmental affairs, told IHRC in 2012 that “the most common email I get from communities about mining is that ‘there is a mine going in down the street from me and nobody told me about it.’

"Community members have also been left out of decisions about policies that affect the environment and their health, a corollary to the lack of notice of new projects discussed above. The government bears primary legal responsibility to ensure residents receive information, yet so far it has largely neglected its duty to “proactively put in the public domain Government information of public interest.” The main conduit of information about mining contamination in the region has been neither government nor industry, but civil society."

The full report may be downloaded. 

MINING

Specialist Working Group Meeting

The Bojanala Platinum District Municipality Environmental Management Framework (EMF) The project is aimed at developing an Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for The Bojanala Platinum District Municipality (BPDM) in terms of the provisions contained in the NEMA, and the 2010 NEMA EMF Regulations. The BPDM EMF will replace and incorporate the MPE EMF, the MLM EMF and the RLM EMF allow for a single updated EMF that will encompass the whole BPDM study area.

FSE unpacks minewaste

Apart from having created the largest gold and uranium basin in the world (the W...

FSE COMMENTS - NATIONAL GUIDELINE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS PREPARING EIA FOR MINING ACTIVITIES (2).docx

    (Reg. No. 2007/003002/08) NPO NUMBER 062986-NPO PBO No. (TAX E...

SA NEWS

Optimum's 'huge' mess

Little is being done by authorities to enforce laws to fix damage from mining.

Our dusty oasis

Sand storm forces Vaal family out of river mansion. A World Heritage Site, Vaal River and residents face contarnination by burgeonlng mines.   Like most residents of the quaint riverside village of Vaaloewer, Gavin Aboud bought his large house overlooking the Vaal River for the promise of “peace and quiet”. “We moved here  because this is our sanctuary,” says the burly-figured chair-person of the Vaaloewer Ratepayers Association, of his relocation from Bryanston, north of Johannesburg, a little over a year ago. ' Tucked between Vanderbijlpark and Parys, in southern Gauteng, the picturesque village touts itself as a “heavenly paradise” and an “oasis” for its scenic riverfront views. But Aboud’s refuge, he believes, is under threat because of the proliferation of sand mining projects on the banks of the river: “Look at those sand mines - they are right on top of us,” he says, frustrated, gesturing to mining operations opposite Vaaloewer. “It's like a desert. Nothing grows there. These companies are coming all the way down the river, but we can't allow it.”In one of the latest applications, Goosebay Farm has applied to mine for sand, gravel and diamonds on the banks of the river. It recently ceased its sand mine run by Winners Point Trading 117, which held mining permits from 2010 to this year. It is listed in the Department of Mineral Resources’ 2017 list of operational mines as Pure Source Minerals Mining, with its owners as Goosebay Farm.

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 - No holds barred in draft National Master Plan for Water

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.”

WATER

Appeal against Water Use License

UPDATE: Appeal against Water Use License issued to Atha-Africa Ventures (Pty) Ltd to be heard at a future date In December 2016, the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Federation for a Sustainable Environment appealed against the grant of a water use licence to Atha-Africa Ventures (Pty) Ltd (Atha) for its proposed Yzermyn underground coal mine in the Mabola Protected Environment.

WATER ISSUES: Continuation of the Integrated Vaal River System Reconciliation Strategy

WATER ISSUES: Continuation of the Integrated Vaal River System Reconciliation S...

SUBMISSION ON THE DWS MASTER PLAN

WRITTEN SUBMISSION ON THE DRAFT 2.6: NATIONAL WATER AND SANITATION MASTER PLAN (...