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.
January 27 2018
No holds barred in draft National Master Plan for Water
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.”
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.
December 23 2017
POLLUTION OF VAAL RIVER ‘AT CRISIS POINT’
“Extraordinary high levels of pollution” in the Vaal River are causing health risks, environmental degradation and water shortages.
Lack of skills to manage water supply systems
A DAMNING report published by the South African Water Caucus has revealed that the quality of the water drunk by South Africans has severely deteriorated and is now a cause for concern.
The South African Water Caucus (SAWC) today launched a report which exposes the dysfunction and institutional paralysis in the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). The report is almost entirely based on publicly accessible information including Parliamentary Questions and Answers, Portfolio Committee meeting reports, information from access to information (PAIA) requests and media articles. However, importantly, it presents it in a single document which paints a particularly bleak picture for SA’s water institutions and hence water security.
Disclaimer: This site features articles written by journalists who have contacted the FSE for information and input. The FSE is not responsible for the content of the final published article, or the accuracy of the information contained. The articles remain the copyright of the original authors and/or publishers. If you reproduce the article you must have the permission of the original author/publisher. All images and logos are copyrighted to their respective owners.