WRITTEN SUBMISSION FOR THE PROPOSAL FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SINGLE CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT AGENCY IN TERMS OF SECTION 78(3) OF THE NATIONAL WATER ACT, 1998 (ACT NO. 36 OF 1998)IN TERMS OF GOVERNMENT NOTICE 1415
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Another year is almost over, a eventful year for FSE. A year full of tours and community engagements, challenges of water pollution and mine closures. Bringing knowledge and transparency to the public. Some awards and media interviews.
This booklet makes the case for a project to address the waste and pollution legacy of mining in the Witwatersrand basin, with a clear linkage between the potential for revenue generation through materials reclamation and comprehensively addressing the entire rehabilitation challenge, with the participation of all stakeholders. It sketches the background and the extent of the challenge, the legislative and regulatory context and the imperatives for urgent action, then focuses in on the Tweelopiespruit wetlands area for a potential pilot project.
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment conduct regular tours to the West Rand Gold Fields. This group included representatives from Business Leadership SA and SAIMechE.
Over the past years we have had the pleasure of watching a greater measure transparency, honesty and openness in the mining industry and the publishing of Regulations calling for easier access by the public to Environmental Management Programme Reports, Audit Reports, Water Use Licenses, closure plans and financial provisions.
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment's (FSE) position on the re-mining and consolidation of poorly managed, poorly constructed and poorly monitored historical tailings storage facilities, which are significant sources of water and windblown dust pollution, has been published in a number of academic papers, government reports and comments and response reports.
While the FSE recognises the importance of mining in South Africa, it is also sober to the fact that mining has the potential for significant negative impacts on the environment. As early as 1987, the US Environmental Protection Agency recognised that .....problems related to mining waste may be rated as second only to global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion in terms of ecological risk. The release to the environment of mining waste can result in profound, generally irreversible destruction of ecosystems.â€
The Federation for a Sustainable Environment continues to engage on Pilansberg issues, including sense of place, water, compliance, mining, eco-tourism, tourism, enviornmental management framework, biodiversity and regional impacts.
Gold mines produced more than 270 tailings storage facilities and the rehabilitation of these facilities can be complex and the results misleading if measures only in the short term.
"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."
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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 districtâ€Ÿs and gold mines â€Ÿability 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."
FSE COMMENTS - Millsite Tailings Storage Facility Reclamation Project
Comments on the Millsite Tailings Storage Facility Reclamation Project: Wetland Sensitivity Mapping and Impact Assessment Freshwater Resource Assessment in the Vicinity of the Proposed Lindum Railway Decommissioning Freshwater Resource Assessment in the Vicinity of the Proposed Millsite Reclamation Surface Water Assessment Report Groundwater Assessment Report Integrated Water Use Licence Application for the Sibanye-Stillwater Rand Uranium/Cooke Operations Integrated Water and Waste Management Plan in support of the WULA The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Federation for Sustainable Environment (FSE). The 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. Their 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.
Presentations, including the FSE’s presentation, held at the conference “Linki...
The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) has refused ...
Battle to save Marico's river
De Beers has secured rights to prospect for kimberlite in the sensitive catchment of Groot Marico, but residents worry that minim firms could damage their pristine river, writes Sheree Bega
Saturday Star January 27 2018 No holds barred in draft National Master Plan for Water Sheree Bega 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.”
POLITICS WEB 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.
FSE’s Preliminary Comments on the Minister of Water and Sanitation’s decision to consolidate the 9 Catchment Management Agencies into one Catchment Management Agency.
(Reg. No. 2007/003002/08) NPO NUMBER 062986-NPO PBO No. (TAX EXEMPT) 930 039 506 Postnet Suite 87 Private Bag X033 RIVONIA 2128 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.
SUBMISSION ON THE DWS MASTER PLAN
WRITTEN SUBMISSION ON THE DRAFT 2.6: NATIONAL WATER AND SANITATION MASTER PLAN (NW&SMP) In this document, the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (“FSE”) submits comments on the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, draft 2.6 (the “draft plan”). THE FSE: The 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. Their 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. In accordance with the above-mentioned mission, the FSE’s comments are limited to matters pertaining to the mining industry. The FSE’s comments will be substantiated by real examples within the scope of the FSE’s experience and our active participation in a significant number of environmental impacts assessments, environmental management programme reports, water use license applications, environmental authorisations, steering committees, forums, task teams, teams of experts, academic research groups, boards, etc. over a period of 15 (fifteen years).  Kindly note that the Legal Resources Centre assisted with this publication.
Invitation by the DWS to participate in a working session regarding the draft National Water and Sanitation Master Plan: to be held on 2 February 2018 at the DBSA Conference Centre
The following preliminary comments on the National Water and Sanitation Master P...
Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that...