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.
The FSE contributed to the article titled “Caught between a rock and hard place”...
Notification of the Withdrawal of the Application of an Amendment of the Environmental Authorisation and Environmental Management Programme for the Sweet Sensation Sand Mining Operation in Free State
The concerted efforts and submissions to the Department of Mineral Resources and...
FSE - DONATION OF TREES AND TREE PLANTING IN SIMUNYE, WEST RAND IN ASSOCIATION WITH SOUTH DEEP MINE
The FSE, in association with Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine, donated 40 white Karee Trees (Searsia penduline) during Arbor Week to the mining affected community of Simunye in the West Rand and participated in the tree planting ceremony with the community of Simunye, the local Municipality and officials from South Deep Mine. The FSE also delivered a presentation during the ceremony.
Article also available for download as an attachment.
Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer. Watch the video here.
Economics & Finance Courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage - Understand taxation for development and sustainability in mining. View the course here. Enrolment starts on the 7th of October 2019.
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