The troubled mine has closed, leaving behind a toxic legacy that nobody is prepared to deal with as liquidators try to cover debts before restitution.
eMalahleni, Highveld, South Africa, 3 July 2014 – While Eskom awaits decisions from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on its applications for postponement (in many cases, effectively exemption) to meet minimum emission standards for its coal-fired power stations, a new study commissioned by NGO groundWork reveals that while some of the country benefits from Eskom produced electricity, it’s the health and lives of people in the Highveld that are carrying the disease burden of the energy utility’s pollution.
Peter Willis, South African Director of University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership attend a lively discussion on 6th June about pathways for energy in the future. The discussion revealed a number of complex dilemmas facing both Eskom and other role-players.
Willis writes a short reflection on the discussion, setting down some thoughts about the central challenge of decision-making in relation to energy, water and climate. He stresses that the thoughts are his own opinions.
Dié ondersoek kom nadat die Federasie vir ’n Volhoubare Omgewing (FSE) strafregtelike klagte van omgewingsbesoedeling teen die bankrot Blyvooruitsicht-myn, DRDGold en Village Main Reef-myn en sy direkteure aanhangig gemaak het.
"...water is viewed mainly as an economic good or commodity by government departments and the private sector," a SAHRC report on water and sanitation in the country, released in Cape Town, said.
"The result is that most of South Africa's water is used by business, especially agribusiness, mining, and other industries, at a relatively lower cost per kilolitre than poor households."
GLENCORE Xstrata, the largest mining company on the JSE and the world’s biggest commodities trader, has come in for a roasting from some communities living near its operations.
THE DEPARTMENT of Water Affairs (DWA) is poised to pounce on a gold-mining outfit that has been at the heart of violent protests on the West Rand for allegedly contaminating parts of a major river system.
The Department of Water Affairs and civil society organisations have agreed that "some degree" of desalination should be added to the short-term plan for treating acid mine water threatening the water supply to the Witwatersrand
"The FSE interprets Platmin’s ungrounded and defamatory allegations against the FSE as an attempt to divert attention away from its own alleged unlawful actions," writes Mariette Liefferink, CEO of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment.
In a public letter, Liefferink addresses the allegation of Platmin that the FSE "has its own agenda".
The management and lecturers of the Central Johannesburg College are likely to face off in court over the bosses' refusal to relocate a campus from the Crown Mines area.
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.
Every day that Patricia Mokoena* goes to work, she prays for rain. Then, at least, the toxic mine dust that she believes is poisoning her and her students won’t be blown around