banner

Kittilla,_Finland;_Open_Pit_Mine
767 Views

Mining companies threaten fragile ecosystems


WAKKERSTROOM, Mpumalanga – The insatiable hunger for mineral resources means mining companies are starting to encroach on more vulnerable ecosystems.

With energy and jobs high on the national agenda, government departments are failing in their environmental mandates.

Mpumalanga’s rural communities are caught in the middle of this political power play, with more than 60 percent of the province mined, or reviewed for possible mining, in the past 15 years.

It took more than five years of consultation and negotiation to have Mabola’s grasslands declared a protected environment.

Eight months later, the Department of Mineral Resources started granting mining licences in the area.

Mining companies may have operating permits, but many don’t have water licences.

Water Minister Nomvula Mokonyane estimates nearly 100 mines aren’t complying.

Conservationists have accused government of sacrificing vital ecology to promote mining.

Catherine Horsfield of The Centre for Environmental Rights said, “Other departments such as the DEA and DWS are under pressure too, and confuse their mandates in the process of water protection, environmental protection with economic development and job creation.

“There is a reluctance to be perceived to be anti-development and anti-job creation.”

The mines are also polluting what little these communities have.

Samson Sibande has invested his life savings in this farm, but a mine on the property is poisoning the water and his animals are dying.

Sibande claims he was promised it would be rehabilitated.

But when he approached the department, he says officials couldn’t track down the company responsible.

Louis Snyman of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies said, “We have a perfect storm that’s arising out of poor capacity within department, with the regulations going straight towards the Department of Mineral Resources.”

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, which oversees biodiversity, says it’s being asked to comment more regularly on applications for mining licences.

The agency is adamant the damage to the environment mustn’t outweigh the benefits of the mines.

Source: enca


Follow Alive2Green on Social Media
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle +

Recently Published

401748
»

#CSIMonth: Why having an authentic approach to your CSI initiatives is key to sustainable growth

It’s a bad idea, as part of your CSR strategy, to pose with a ...

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 3.01.47 PM
»

Biodegradable plastic bags developed in SA

South Africans will soon be able to dispose of their plastic bags ...

coke
»

If you care so much, Coke, why aren’t your bottles 100% recycled?

Coca-Cola sells more than 100bn single-use plastic bottles a year. ...

Pam
»

Pam Golding’s new alliance will provide global property assets, plus dual residence

Estate agent Pam Golding Properties (PGP) has partnered with global ...

goin green4
»

Carpooling proves ‘excellent’ match for Cape Town’s traffic congestion

South African carpooling app, uGoMyWay today released the results of ...

roof infrastructure
»

Engineers find way to evaluate green roofs

Green infrastructure is an attractive concept, but there is concern ...

goin green
»

An invitation to attend the 5th Going Green Conference in Durban, 13th to the 15th September 2017

It is with great pleasure and honour to extend a warm invitation for ...

Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 3.23.15 PM
»

Green protest against Wakkerstroom mine

The centre said the organisations would, if necessary, take the ...

Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 2.46.32 PM
»

Mall of Africa named winning retail development at Sapoa Excellence Awards

Mall of Africa scoops an award at the South African Property Owners ...