Specialising in
Grey Water
and
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

Water polluters to pay environmental tax

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 15 February 2011

The South African government has hinted at the introduction of a new environmental tax in an effort to address future eruptions of acid mine drainage (AMD) in a country where the economy largely depends on mining.

Government intends to hold people accountable if found guilty of having polluted water.

This comes as Cabinet meets this week to discuss recommendations made by a special task team to investigate how government should respond to reports of acid water drainage in some parts of the country.

Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, speaking at an Infrastructure Development cluster briefing on Tuesday, said while the proposal has not been tabled to Cabinet yet, it was something the state was “seriously” looking at.

“There have to be mechanisms that are put in place to ensure that the law is adhered to … we all have a duty to ensure that we protect the environment so it’s a discussion that is there. The Department of Finance has a document that is circulating on environmental tax and we will see what happens in the future,” Molewa said.

Acid mine water, or water contaminated with heavy metals as a result of mining activities, is reportedly affecting the Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and Free State provinces. Reports suggest that this drainage poses health and economic risks for the country. Abandoned mines in Johannesburg and Mpumalanga had been the hardest hit so far.

With the mining industry contributing more than 30 percent to the country’s total export revenue, and having employed 2.9 percent of the country’s economically active population by 2009, environmentalists have termed AMD as the biggest single threat to the country’s economy and environment. Continue reading Water polluters to pay environmental tax

Concern over polluted water supply following floods

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 January 2011

The National Water Forum voiced concern over the pollutive effect of the recent flooding on the country’s water supply.

Flooding in Gauteng.

NWF national chairman Louis Meintjies said that in Gauteng, acid mine […]

Experts to assess extent of acid mine drainage

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 07 September 2010

A team of experts is expected to assess the extent of acid mine drainage in the country and report back to an inter-ministerial committee appointed by Minister of Water Affairs Bulelwa Sonjica.

Johannesburg. […]

Massive pollution threat to economic heartland

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 06 July 2010

A double whammy from the pollution legacy of more than 100 years of gold mining on the Witwatersrand, and inadequately maintained sewage works could leave South Africa’s economic heartland facing a water crisis of epic […]

Most of Africa's water sources are polluted with toxic matter

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 02 May 2010

Water quality in sub-Saharan Africa is on the decline. Most water resources have unacceptable levels of toxic substances — heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants and biological contaminants, according to a recent report by the Pan Africa Chemistry Network (PACN).

About 50% of Africa’s total water resources are concentrated within the Congo basin

These originate mainly from domestic waste water and local industries.
However, PACN notes that managing water resources in Africa is difficult as many countries do not have quality monitoring programmes.

“There is widespread scarcity of analytical laboratories, substantial under-investment and the absence of a structured framework for water governance,” notes the PACN report. “This makes water pollution statistics hard to come by.”

The report, “Africa’s Water Quality: A chemical Science perspective” of March 2010, however notes that scientists working in Africa have the knowledge, expertise and potential to help formulate and implement sustainable water strategies to maintain quality.

The report is the outcome of a 2009 Sustainable Water Conference hosted by the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and world leading agribusiness, Syngenta.

The findings and recommendations represent the views of 180 scientists and practitioners from 14 countries in Africa who attended the conference, as well as the UK, Switzerland, Colombia and Uruguay. Continue reading Most of Africa’s water sources are polluted with toxic matter