Nuclear News

MINING (136)

The year got off to a great start for Jozi Gold. The film has been selected for the prestigious CPH DOX International Film Festival in Copenhagen, it is a finalist in the SIMA Awards and it will feature in The Bioscope Independent Cinema’s Best Films of 2019 screenings this coming weekend.

It is a major achievement for Jozi Gold that the international premiere will be at CPH DOX, one of the biggest and most important documentary festivals in the world. It takes place in Copenhagen from March 18th to 29th and the producers/directors are aiming to launch the international Impact Campaign at the same time.

And hot on the heels of the CPH DOX announcement came an award. The annual Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) celebrate the highest standard of social impact storytelling, honouring cutting edge filmmaking from around the world that inspires activism, compassion and social transformation. Each year, projects are selected from over 140 countries, competing for awards, cash prizes, media features, and entry into SIMA’s distribution programmes that bring selected works to communities and classrooms worldwide. The winners will be announced on February 7th, 2020.

A letter from the organisers states: “We are committed to advancing the culture of social-impact filmmaking and championing filmmakers and change-makers like YOU, who use creative storytelling to inspire awareness, compassion and action. Thank you for inspiring us with your work!

And, on the Homefront, The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Maboneng, Johannesburg has opted for a third run of  Jozi Gold as part of their Best Films of 2019 screenings.

The festive season was barely in sunset mode when we received a request from the University of Cape Town to screen Jozi Gold for a group of foreign students (mostly from the USA and focusing on environmental studies) who had just arrived to spend a semester in the Mother City. Professor Marc Los Huertos from Pomona College in Los Angeles requested the screening after reading about Jozi Gold online. Pomona is one of the USA’s premier liberal arts colleges.

If you would like to know more or become involved contact Sabelo Hlatshwayo, Jozi Gold Impact Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jozi Gold, raising awareness and spreading the inspiration one screening at a time. Watch it here: Jozi Gold Film.

The producers/directors' mailing address is:
Jozi Gold
WG Film AB Västergatan 22a SE-211 21
Malmö SE-211 21
Sweden

NEWS / 25 OCTOBER 2019, 10:04PM / SHEREE BEGA

A decision by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs setting aside the environmental approval for a planned open-cast coal mine on the East Rand has been hailed as "excellent" for the region.

In her decision on October 20, Minister Barbara Creecy stated that it was vital that commercial agriculture be safeguarded in the Springs/Nigel area.

Local resident, business and environmental groups had appealed the Department of Mineral Resources' (DMR) approval of the integrated environmental authorisation for the proposed Palmietkuilen coal mine in March this year.

Creecy has now upheld their appeal, setting aside the DMR's decision.

The Grootvaly Blesbokspruit Conservation Trust, the Largo and Groovaly AH Residents and Businesses, Aston Lake Community and the Springs Nigel branch of the Wildlife and Environment Society of SA, were among the organisations who had brought seven appeals against the project.

In August 2016, Anglo Operations, on behalf of Canyon Coal, applied to build the open-pit coal mine. The project is anticipated to have a life of mine of 47 years, with the anticipated production of 2 400 000 tons of coal per year to supply local and international markets.

The proposed mine is upstream of the Blesbokspruit, which feeds the Marievale Bird Sanctuary in Springs and flows into the Vaal. It is a designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance.

In her appeal decision, Creecy notes how Hugo Arthur de Koningh, the second appellant in the matter, argued that agricultural land "has to disappear for the sake of economic development" and expressed concern that "food security became more threatened".

Creecy agreed."While I am aware of the social benefits of the proposed mining, I find that such does not outweigh the need to to protect and preserve the prime agricultural land.

"The said area has been utilised for agricultural activities for generations and can go on to be used for such provided soil disturbances are avoided."

"One of the biggest threats to the retention of productive agricultural land is the conflict between agriculture and mining land uses. With the matter at hand, I find that it is vital to preserve the current land use, mainly commercial agriculture," Creecy said.

"This is excellent news for Springs and the farmers of our area and our thanks to all who participated in the seven appeals that were lodged," said the attorney in the case, Philip De Jager.

"I would, however, point out that the applicant is entitled to have this decision judicially reviewed." 

Local environmentalist Stan Madden, the "father of the Blesbokspruit", welcomed Creecy's decision. "I was one of the group of organisations (Springs-Nigel branch of Wessa) that were against the environmental authorisation in the Palmietkuilen area.

"I and others are very pleased with the Minister's decision not to grant this authorisation. It does give a little hope for the future of this sensitive wetland and agricultural heartland, Madden said.

Mariette Liefferink, the CEO of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, said it was "heartened" by Creecy's decision to uphold the appeal by interested and affected parties and to set aside the decision by the DMR.

"It demonstrates the power of active citizenry to ensure that development is ecological sustainable and economically justifiable.

"With South Africa being a water scarce country, with a rapid population growth that consumes a substantial amount of food and water, and vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change and climate variability, the proposed open cast coal mine would have compromised sustainability and would have exceeded environmental tipping points," she said.

In their appeals, residents cited how an objection by the then Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries against the loss of high agricultural land was ignored by the DMR.

On September 25, comments were provided to Creecy by the now Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, indicating that the proposed mining activity is located within a proposed protected agricultural area, which has a priority rating of B.

"According to DALRRD, this means that this area is regarded as high potential agricultural land, which should be protected for agricultural production purposes," Creecy noted.

The directorate of spatial information management within Creecy's department was requested to do a screening of the proposed mining area, "which confirms that the site comprises mainly very sensitive agricultural areas", she said.

The DMR had stated that the impact on agricultural land was considered and assessed and studies had shown how the proposed mining activity "will have minimal and acceptable impacts on food security".

The Saturday Star

According the Draft Water and Sanitation Master Plan, high water yield areas constitute only 4% of South Africa’s surface area and are the water factories of the country. Currently only 18% of them have any form of formal protection.  Furthermore, 57% of river ecosystem types and 65% of wetland eco system types are threatened, making wetlands the most threatened of all ecosystems. 

 

In view of the above mentioned threats, the FSE, a member of the Coalition, who defended the protection of the Enkangala-Drakensberg Strategic Water Source Area, where Atha Proposes to mine coal,  salutes the latest decision by the Constitutional Court. 

 

Press statement attached.

 

Constitutional Court rejects coal mining company's attempt to ...

Fin24-13 hours ago

In a short, sharp smack-down, the Constitutional Court has rejected an attempt by would-be coal mining company Atha-Africa Ventures to draw ...

 

ConCourt overturns Zwane, Molewa's permission to mine in ...

SowetanLIVE-18 Nov 2019

The Constitutional Court has had the final say on the approval of a coal mine ... In February, the high court refused Atha-Africa's leave...

TimesLIVE

 

Constitutional Court dismisses mine company bid to mine in ...

DispatchLIVE-18 Nov 2019

Earlier this month the Constitutional Court refused mining company Atha Africa's final challenge of a 2018 high court decision to set...

 

'Significant victory' for the environment in Concourt hailed

Independent Online-19 Nov 2019

Cape Town – Environmentalists have hailed a decision by the Constitutional Court to dismiss Atha Africa's leave to appeal against...

Appeal Decision Palmietkuilen

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 10:47

Successful Appeal against the Decision to Grant an Integrated Environmental Authorisation to Anglo Operations (Pty) Ltd  in respect of a Mining Right Application relating to opencast coal mining on Farm Palmietkuilen. The FSE assisted and supported the 1st and 3rd Appellants, namely  Largo and Grootvaly A H Residents and Businesses and the Grootvaly Blesbokspruit Conservation Trust with their Appeals.

 

Appeal decision attached.

SATURDAY STAR article written by Sheree Bega - "Mintails mining site reduced to rubble"

“Look, there’s nothing left,” said the heavily armed security guard as he pointed to what remained of Mintails’ gold treatment plants, offices and adjacent infrastructure: rubble.

Read the rest of the article here


Watch the SABC2 Mintails coverage here.


Notice of motion and affidavit issued by the FSE attached for referral.