Water News

This document records a chronological timeline of Government efforts regarding the treatment of Acid Mine Drainage: West Rand goldfields.

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Marievale wetland, near Springs on the East Rand, has been world-famous for its abundant birdlife for decades. Listed under the Ramsar convention on internationally important wetlands, one of only a few such sites in South Africa, this paradise is in danger. An upstream gold mine has been dumping billions of litres of contaminated water into the Blesbokspruit, the river that feeds Marievale. The problems at this mine could be a threat to the whole East Rand region. The polluted water - about a hundred million litres a day - is pumped from deep underground by No. 3 Shaft of the Grootvlei gold mine to prevent the flooding of its tunnels. Jock Botha is the foreman of 3 Shaft.

Acid Mine Drainage - West Rand

Written by Friday, 12 February 2010 16:54

The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) as part of the Government Task Team on mine closure and water management together with mining companies have agreed on a model to deal with the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) challenge that is affecting the Western, Central and Eastern Basins (the Witwatersrand gold fields area) which is impacting mainly on the Vaal and the Crocodile River systems.

Die Federasie vir ’n Volhoubare Omgewing (FVO) wil die regering hof toe vat om hom te dwing om van die myne aan die Wes-Rand te help om suur mynwater te beheer.

Dié water gaan vermoedelik “binne dae” by skagte en fonteine begin uitborrel.

 

Save the Vaal Environment (SAVE), an NGO striving to protect the Vaal River and its environs, obtained a court order in the High Court of Johannesburg on Tuesday 2 June 2009 against the Emfuleni municipality.  Despite strenuous opposition to the application by Emfuleni, Judge John Horn ordered Emfuleni to stop the deliberate sewage spillage into the Vaal River that has been occurring unabated for months.

Mine Dumps - Urgent Treatment Needed

Written by Thursday, 27 November 2008 22:33

Acid and metal polluted water poses a risk to all Gautengers

The discovery of gold changed the fortunes of those who made Johannesburg their home. But 120 years later, abandoned gold mines on the West Rand have left a legacy of pollution that is threatening the security of the water supply. This pollution has also destroyed agricultural land and led to premature deaths and miscarriages in animals at a nearby game reserve.

Krugersdorp. – Suur mynwater het vermoedelik reeds die Zwartkranskompartement bereik waarin die Wieg van die Mensdom (Sterkfonteingrotte) geleë is.

Dit is ’n kommerwekkende situasie wat dopgehou moet word,” het mnr. Phil Hobbs, navorser van die Wetenskaplike Nywerheidsnavorsingsraad (WNNR), gister gesê by ’n vergadering oor die “krisis” met suur mynwater wat in die Tweelopiespruit beland en deur die Krugersdorp-wildtuin loop.
Die suur mynwater loop ook ondergronds en is opgemerk in ’n boorgat naby die begin van die Zwartkranskompartement, het Hobbs gesê.

"It is ...clear that the (Vaal River) system is under severe pressure and there is no reserve for further dilution to take place. It is this fact that is making the option of transporting more water from the Vaal to Witbank so precarious. All of the clean water out of the Lesotho Highlands Project is needed for dilution of the pollutants in the Vaal system. There is no spare capacity." ~ Koos Pretorius, Director and Founding member of FSE

Download the full document (about 1MB) Portfolio Committee presentation June 2008

South Africa's looming water crisis

Written by Thursday, 06 March 2008 13:50

South Africa faces an electricity supply crisis today because the government ignored the warnings it was given more than ten years ago. The same situation is now facing us with regard to water supply. A combination of polluted water sources and poor management of dams, sewerage works and treatment plants has led to a situation where our water supply is under serious threat.

Staat gekap oor myne in vleie

Written by Saturday, 01 March 2008 00:00

Die departement van mine- rale en energie is “kort- sigtig” om lisensies toe te staan aan mynmaatskappye wat steenkool in vleilande wil ontgin.

Dié steenkool het geen langtermyn ekonomiese waarde nie “en net vir ’n paar individue”.

Trouens, dit vernietig die land se kosbare, skaars waterbronne.

MINING

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 at the conference "Sustainable Use of Abandoned Mines in the SADC Region"

Presentations, including the FSE’s presentation, held at the conference “Linki...

Palmietkuilen Coal Mining Project Rejected

The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) has refused ...

SA NEWS

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 - No holds barred in draft National Master Plan for Water

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.”

THE IMPACT OF MINING ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY AND LIVING STANDARDS

  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.  

WATER

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).[1] [1] Kindly note that the Legal Resources Centre assisted with this publication.

Coalition defending Mpumalanga water source area

Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that...