The FSE is of the firm opinion that many persons and companies want to financially profit from the current situation. This is resulting in failure to holistically identify and manage the AMD impacts and challenges. The reason might partly be that the situation is a political problem as well.
For most of its history, the mining industry in South Africa has not been subjected to comprehensive environmental regulation.
In recent years, however, this has changed significantly and the industry is now required to comply with a complex web of mining and environmental policy and legislation. This chapter outlines the most relevant legislation and policy documents that govern sustainable mining in South Africa.
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The persistent activism of Mariette Liefferink, the C.E.O. of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment has kept the media attention on the impact of uranium and gold mining on the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment area for a number of years.
Mariette Liefferink’s red high-heeled sandals sink into the watery earth. She totters to a mining pit overflowing with copper water that is stained like blood. That this is filled with partially treated acid mine drainage (AMD) is a small victory for the environmental activist.
It has been noted, not without serious concern that the Project will result in:
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Die Blou Skerpioene het verlede week toegeslaan op Platmin, wat ‘n reuse-oopgroefmyn in ‘n beoogde erfenis-gebied op die voorstoep van die Pilanesberg-natuurreservaat bedryf.
In a first for SA, a mining company has pleaded guilty to breaking environmental laws while prospecting for coal in a protected wetland -- in return for a relatively light penalty.
Allegations that former convicts Kenny Kunene and Gayton McKenzie defrauded poor Sowetan communities by persuading them to participate in a mining rights application for Central Rand Gold in Johannesburg are being investigated.
However, there is widespread confusion over the status of the police investigation.
The Department of Water Affairs says it is committed to solving the country's acid mine water crisis. Farmers in Mpumalanga have issued a warning that polluted water could lead to food shortages. Now an upgraded treatment plant is to be opened in Gauteng but the government concedes more needs to be done.
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