An ambitious new government strategy to deal with abandoned mines is welcome but needs more teeth, say those in the know. Andiswa Matikinca reports.
It has been almost six years since #MineAlert reported that it will cost R30-billion or more to clean up and rehabilitate the thousands of abandoned mines scattered around South Africa. In a series of data-driven investigations, starting with No (dis)closure on mining’s mess, #MineAlert highlighted the legacy impacts on the environment and the health of poor communities living along the mining belt.
In May 2021 the government published a new national mine closure strategy to deal with the problem. Still in draft form, the key focus areas include environmental rehabilitation, planning for “a diverse post-mining economy”, closure planning throughout the lifecycle of a mine and a regional approach to mine closures. Read more here.