Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 July 2011
The Deputy Ministers of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, MP, and the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mr Thabang Makwetla, MP, today [4 July 2011] issued a stern warning to Shanduka Coal Mines in Middleburg, Mpumalanga, to comply with government regulations on environment and the National Water Act or face the music.
The warning came after the two deputy ministers visited the mine plants this morning and found that the operation of its two subsidiaries violated the basic rules of environment and they did not have a water use license. It was also discovered that the two plants polluted a main road that passes through them by littering coal dust on the road.
At a meeting with Shanduka management the deputy ministers also warned the mine owners against operating their plants without a proper hazardous waste management policy which they said could lead to a hazardous health risk to the nearby community. The hazardous waste from the coal could also lead to the destruction of a forest which is next to the mine plants.
“We are concerned that your mine violates the basic environmental laws of this country. We are also worried that you continue with your operations without a water use license. It is arrogant of you to want to deviate a busy provincial road that is used by the public for the sake of your profits,” the deputy ministers told mine management.
The deputy ministers were also concerned about Shanduka operating their two plants across the busy R555 Road which leads from N4 into Middleburg town. Sometimes traffic along this road came to a halt to allow the mine trucks to ferry coal across the road. The deputy ministers asked the mine management to construct its private road that would allow its trucks to operate without interfering with the public road.
However, the Chief Operations Officer of the Shanduka Mine, Mr Zirk Van der Bank, assured the deputy ministers that his company would do its best to comply with government requirements for operating the mine.