Question NW1301 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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21 November 2019 - NW1301

Weber, Mr WL to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

Whether her department has taken or plans to take any steps to ensure that the mining by Hlelo Mining (Pty) Ltd on portion 24 of farm Boschmanspoort 159 IS in Mpumalanga, that is allegedly taking place illegally in a wetland area, does not pollute or poison the water that ultimately runs off into Middelburg’s main source of drinking water, the Rondebosch Dam; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Department of Water and Sanitation is aware of the mining activities on Portion 24 of the Farm Boschmanspoort 159 in Mpumalanga. A site inspection was conducted on 9th October 2019 and departmental officials discovered the following:

a) Lunathi Mining (Pty) Ltd is conducting mining activities in a wetland area, which forms part of a drainage area towards the unnamed stream that feeds into Klein Olifants River, and into the Middelburg Dam.

b) Lunathi Mining (Pty) Ltd does not have a Water Use License.

c) The mining rights belong to Hlelo Mining but the mine is being operated by Lunathi Mining (Pty) Ltd

In line with Section 3 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, Act no 3 of 2000, a notice of Intention to issue a directive in terms of Section (19(1) and 53(1) was issued to Lunathi Mining (Pty) Ltd to afford the company an opportunity to make representation in writing to the Department within fourteen (14) working days. Should there be no response, a Directive will be issued compelling the mining company to:

(a) Cease the mining operations.

(b) Appoint an independent environmental consultant to compile and submit a Wetland Rehabilitation and Remedial Plans with clear timeframes for Departmental approval, in order to rectify the contraventions.

(c) The mine must appoint a water specialist to conduct water quality analysis of the unnamed stream at the confluence (where the unnamed stream and Klein Olifants river meet), Klein Olifants River and the Middleburg Dam. The finding of the water quality tests must be submitted to the department.

(d) Upon approval of the Plans, to implement all the recommendations contained in the Wetland Rehabilitation and Remedial Plans within thirty (30) working days of the departmental approval of the Plans.

 

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