May 2014 Report

Written by Wednesday, 18 June 2014 05:19

A list of activities and engagements of the FSE for the month of May 2014. 

"It is not uncommon for African governments to exploit the poor and marginalized for perceived gains in the interest of the strong multinational companies and a few local beneficiaries.
"Endowed with vast natural resources such as wild animals, unique flora and fauna, rivers, lakes and minerals such as copper, uranium, zinc, diamonds and silver to mention but a few, many governments in Africa, rather than improving the lives of their citizens end up piling misery on the vulnerable in society.
"Take the mining of uranium for instance. It holds so much promise on the face of it but deep down the layers of reality, one sees that only multinational companies, corrupt government officials among
them, only a token few locals benefit from its exploitation."

Download the report. 

Dust Management in Gold Mining Regions

Written by Tuesday, 17 June 2014 22:14

A critical evaluation of the challenges facing dust management within gold mining regions of South Africa  by JJ Martins


"...the biggest challenge within this area is that neither districts nor gold mines receive any assistance nor do they report to government with regards to their dust management programme. This poses a challenge as it limits both the district‟s and gold mines ‟ability to enforce and improve their dust management programmes. The lack of use of information provided by interested and affected parties (Paragraph 4.3.8) within the dust management plan of both the district and gold mines is a major challenge as deposition-dust regulations were initiated to protect the public and their property ... in the first place. The biggest challenge, however, as identified in the study for this focus area is the lack of specialist involvement in dust management plans and programmes of both districts and gold mines ... There are, however, implications regarding the capacity of consultants rendering services as air-quality specialists ....). It is the view of the author that when it comes to using consultants a clear distinction should be made between dust management and monitoring as the necessary qualifications relevant to each of the areas are totally different. It was confirmed by questionnaires to specialists ... that there is a general lack of scientific knowledge within dust management. It is furthermore the author's view that to render air-quality services specifically pertaining to monitoring one should at least have a tertiary qualification in science."

January 2014 Report

Written by Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:17

An abridged report (not inclusive of all the activities) of some of the FSE’s activities during January, 2014 which may be of interest or relevance:

Mariette Liefferink presented "Radiological Impacts, Health Risks and Hazards  to Staff and Students of the Crown Mine Art and Music College pertaining to Mine Residue Deposits".

The opening statement of the presentation sets the scene for serious risk to ecosystems, the life sustaining ecological systems on which we rely -

FSE Annual Report (2011)

Written by Wednesday, 15 February 2012 01:48

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment  has published its annual report, detailing the many activities, recognition and advocacy of the past year.

Mitigation measures at Uranium Mines

Written by Wednesday, 28 September 2011 08:23

Uranium mining operations have high impacts on environment and society, and can lead to deterioration of health of workers and communities. Uranium mining activities are increasing in Africa, where mining is not always strictly regulated and controlled. Mitigation of negative impacts from uranium mines by national governments and international mining companies can have a positive effect on society and environment.
An assessment of the mitigation measures is addressed in the report "Uranium from Africa" by World Information Service on Energy (WISE) and Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO)

Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations.


The report assesses what mitigation measures governments and industry are taking in Namibia, South Africa, and the Central African Republic. Practices are compared with Canada and Australia, where regulation is more strict.

"It is surprising that South Africa has no specialised institutions which have adequate knowledge on the impacts of (uranium) mining operations and can monitor, educate, and advise on all mining-related health and environmental issues".

EXTRACTS from the report are contained in this article. The FULL REPORT is available to download.

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.

Scientist reviews NNR Report

Written by Sunday, 19 December 2010 04:12

Wonderfonteinspruit has resulted in contamination of parts of the region with mine spoil and tailings containing heavy metal, uranium and thorium series residues, the latter properly termed Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material - TENORM.


With more information on environmental research reports at the disposal of the general public, a new type of activism has been visible in South Africa since 2007. This new type of activism entailed, amongst others, a more informed activist empowered with more freedom of speech and a right to information (according to the rights provided as in the South African Constitution). The formal founding of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) for South Africa in October 2007 serves as an example of proactive oppositional environmental activism (POEA).



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.

"Varkies" gou op hok, maar als nie pluis | Beeld

Article also available for download as an attachment.

Radon Alert - Carte Blanche

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.

WITS Economics & Finance Courses: Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage

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.


FSE’s presentation to the Water and Sanitation Sector Leadership Group’s (WSSLG)* Sustainable Development Goal 6 Task Team on Thursday, the 26th of November 2020.

*The Water and Sanitation Sector Leadership Group (WSSLG) is the highest non-statutory strategic sector partnership forum for the South African water sector. The WSSLG serves as a think tank for the water sector and prepares an overarching national action agenda for implementing the National Water and Sanitation Resource Strategy 2 (NWSRS2) and ensures that sound policies, laws, strategies, programmes and institutions are developed to achieve the goals outlined in the NWRS2. The WSSLG also actively facilitates dialogue between the Department of Water and Sanitation, government departments, civil society and the private sector for input, support and contributions to joint strategic and coordinated actions to improve the implementation of water sector policies, strategies and programmes. In its advisory role, the WSSLG provides recommendations on policies, legislation, programmes and strategies and serves as credible forum for stakeholder consultation and involvement in the development of sector policies, legislation, programmes and strategies. Presentation attached for download.

How Relevant are the Vaal Barrage's Catchment Forums

Article in North Star - Vereeniging & Midvaal.Author: Johann Tempelhoff Art...


PDF article attached for download....