Dear All,

Herewith the news for this month:

Proposed coal mines inside or bordering Protected Environments in Mpumalanga.

Last month we reported on the preparations for an open cast coal mine bordering the recently declared Greater Lakenvlei Protected Environment in Mupmalanga. This totally illegal action which threatens an extremely important wetland of great biodiversity value and also a primary source of the Elands River. This river below Waterval Boven is a stronghold of smallscale yellows and until now has been considered to be a source of good quality water. Although there might be no surprise that the DMR issued a mining right for a coal mine at a site classified as “irreplaceable”, but this was followed by the issue of a water use permit by the DWS. Both permits were appealed and in a recent court case the DMR was given 30 days to respond to the appeal against the mining right which was submitted in 2013. The end-goal is to have the mining right withdrawn, but needless to say it is once again costing civil society a fortune to correct the mistakes made by government departments.




New mine-water atlas.

The WRC has funded a mine water atlas which will be an important decision-making tool in assessing the impact of mining on our water resources. To download it go to And click on Mine Water Atlas.

Freshwater Ecosystem Network (FEN).

SANBI will be hosting this conference on 29th June at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg. This follows the SASAqS conference of 26 to 28 June. Contact person for the FEN meeting is Namhla Mbona at

The yellowfishing.

In the Orange-Vaal system the smallmouth yellows are moving into deeper water and many flyfishers will now be targeting largemouths. Similarly, south of the Phongola system the scalys are also in deeper water. However, for the Phongola and Assegai the winter is usually the prime time for fishing for small and largescale yellows.




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