The R2K statement is now available – attached, and see here online: https://bit.ly/2mqhmYC
19 July 2018
JOINT STATEMENT: We strongly condemn attacks on civil society organisations and activists!
The undersigned organisations condemn the recent vicious attacks on environmental justice activists in South Africa.
In one case, we are outraged at the reported murder on 11 July 2018 of Mr D Mpanza, an activist who had opposed a relocation of the community in KwaDube in KwaZulu Natal. KZN violence monitor Mary de Haas has reported that people living on this land have been informed by various authorities that they must be relocated to accommodate onshore mining operations between Mthunzini and Richards Bay. According to De Haas, Mr Mpanza was shot dead, execution-style, on 11 July when travelling home from Esikhawini. Of the companions he was travelling with he alone was targeted.
In another case, we note an escalating campaign of social media attacks by those associated with an Mpumalanga mining project, on a number of South African environmental rights organisations. The campaign is led by the senior vice president of Indian-owned mining company Atha-Africa Ventures Pty Ltd, which is facing multiple legal challenges from these organisations to its applications to mine coal in a strategic water source area and protected environment in Mpumalanga.
This campaign is made up of various accusations and threats on social media which are designed to intimidate, silence and discourage activists who are lawfully opposing a coal mine in a strategic water source area and protected environment. He has publicly accused these organisations of “treason” and an “anti-national agenda”. These unfounded attacks are intolerable in our Constitutional democracy.
The South African Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right to access to justice, and the right to just administrative action. South Africa also has a long tradition of activism and civil society mobilisation to uphold our Constitution and defend Constitutional values.
More than two years have passed since cde Bazooka Rhadebe, an anti-mining activist in Xolobeni, was assassinated on the Wild Coast in 2016. To date nobody has been brought to book for his murder. Across the world, corporations have employed intimidation and violence when their commercial interests are challenged by activists, especially activists defending natural resources and environmental rights. The murder and assault of environmental activists are already common occurrences in many parts of the world.
We strongly condemn both physical and verbal attacks on civil society organisations and activists.
In the case of Mr Mpanza, we call for the speedy arrest and successful prosecution of his killers, and immediate protection for other residents who oppose the relocation in KwaDube. Furthermore we call for the authorities to give full information and participation to the community on this proposed relocation, and respect the voices of those who oppose it.
In the case of Atha-Africa, we call on the Minerals Council of South Africa (formerly the Chamber of Mines) to state publicly that it will revoke the membership of any company whose employees engage in this type of conduct. The mining authorities cannot remain silent when companies operating in South Africa unlawfully intimidate and threaten activists exercising their Constitutional rights.
For media comments contact:
Biko Mutsaurwa, R2K NWG Member: 079 915 5220
Ngazini Ngidi, R2K NWG Member: 071 105 2507
ONLINE VERSION: https://bit.ly/2mqhmYC
Note to media: Please attribute contents of this statement to the mentioned organisations not to any individuals unless you contact a spokesperson for specific comments.
 These organisations include Centre for Environmental Rights, the Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa, groundWork, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, BirdLife South Africa, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD), the Bench Marks Foundation and WWF South Africa.
TUDOR SHAFT INFORMAL SETTLEMENT: THE FSE'S DECADE OF WHISTLEBLOWING, LOBBING AND ACTIVISM FINALLY RESULTING IN RELOCATION AND REMEDIATION
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Cape Town - Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Energy has urged the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) to speed up its pace in trying to assist the Tudor Shaft community in Gauteng, where high levels of radiation were detected.
The FSE conducted a tour of the West Rand gold fields, DRD Gold’s and Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations and Gold Fields’ South Deep operations with an investment analyst of Perspective Investment Management on the 25th of June, 2018.
The FSE conducted a tour of the West Rand gold fields on the 2nd of July 2018 with Mr Nick Holland, the CEO of Gold Fields and concluded the tour with a visit to Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine.
Embattled North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has set his sights on the wildlife reserve within the province, propose a bill last week that would repeal the north West Parks board. Should the bill be passed, the North West government would have full access to all the wildlife resources within the province. The wold-renowned Pilanesberg National Park and Game Reserve is one of the parks in jeopardy .-Saturday Star
The FSE participated in the 20 years of Environment Impact Assessment in South Africa in Durban on Wednesday, the 16th of May 2018. The FSE was invited by the Department of Environmental Affairs to present on behalf of civil society on the subject matter. The FSE’s presentation and the DDG: LACE’s presentations are attached hereto.
See also Saturday Star of May 19 2018’s article titled “Striving for balance.”
The FSE participated in the 2nd Nuclear Regulatory Information Conference, which was held at the Indaba Hotel and Conference Venue in Johannesbug on the 16 – 18th of May 2018. The Conference was hosted by the National Nuclear Regulator of South Africa. The FSE was invited to present on the 17th of May 2018 on the subject “Remediation.” The FSE’s presentation is attached hereto.
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.
(Reg. No. 2007/003002/08)
NPO NUMBER 062986-NPO
PBO No. (TAX EXEMPT) 930 039 506
Postnet Suite 87
Private Bag X033
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.
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.
The FSE will appear on Al Jazeera English’s award-winning show, The Stream Wednesday, December 20th from 9:30p – 10:00p SAST
THE FSE CONDUCTED A NUMBER OF NEWS MEDIA INTERVIEWS ON THE SAWC’S STATE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION REPORT INTER ALIA SABC NEWS, IOL, CHANNEL AFRICA AND E.TV.
BASEL GOLD DAY - HOW TO OBTAIN CLEAN GOLD: THE FSE'S PRESENTATION
Please find the following attached for download: 1. Basel Gold Day: How to obtain clean gold - the consumer perspective 2. Basel Gold Day: Presentation by the FSE
Attached for download: 1. ASM Policy 20202. FSE's Submission...
FSE's comments are attached for download....
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.
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment’s ongoing role in addressing the sewage pollution in the Vaal River
‘People the same as pigs’ in the VaalBy Sheree Bega | 16 Oct 2020 Foul: Pigs ro...
The Intervention document is attached for download....