Dear All,

Herewith the news for this month:


Proposed coal mines inside or bordering Protected Environments in Mpumalanga.

Last month we reported on the Mabola issue where the Minister of Environmental Affairs had approved the mining permit for the well-connected Atha Africa group to mine for coal on the border of the Mabola PE, but where the underground working would be within the PE. A coalition of eight civil society and community organisations are challenging this decision and the matter will eventually end up in court.

In the past 2 week’s preparations for an open cast coal mine bordering the recently declared Greater Lakenvlei Protected Environment started. This is a totally illegal action which threatens an extremely important wetland of great biodiversity value and a primary source of the Elands River, which below Waterval Boven is a stronghold of smallscale yellows. Help has been received from the CER and especially from Dr Koos Pretorius of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, but the costs which are formidable will have to be borne mainly by the local community as funding from the environmental NGO’s has already been diverted to the Mabola case. For more information on the Greater Lakenvlei case please click here

Sewage has become a national crisis.

I refer to an excellent article by Afriforum which highlights the fact that government is not admitting that we have a major crisis on our hands although Afriforum are inundated with complaints from the public. At least 4200 megalitres of raw sewage are leaking into our rivers every day, 82% of sewage plants are not complying with legislated standards and yet the DEA are underspent by 2 billion on solving the problem over the last few years. For more click here

Update on proposed experimental fishery a Vanderkloof Dam.

A report was issued on 12 April Qurban Rouhani, Director Rural Fisheries Programme, Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University may be found by clicking here



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