Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 23 February 2011
The government plans to set up a chain of pumping stations and treatment plants to prevent toxic liquids that are building up in defunct gold mines beneath Johannesburg from reaching dangerous levels.
The costs will be made known in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s national Budget today. But the government insists that the clock is not ticking as acidic mine water is expected to reach environmentally critical levels under Johannesburg only by June 2012, according to government officials and scientists at a briefing yesterday.
The cabinet also agreed that “further work needs to be done” to investigate the possibility of an environmental levy – to be spent on restoring the environment in mined areas – for consideration by the cabinet.
Water has already leaked from old mines west of Johannesburg in the “western basin”.
“Work in the western basin is immediate,” Thibedi Ramontja, the chief executive of the Council for Geoscience, said after the briefing.
Federation for a Sustainable Environment chief executive Mariette Liefferink said yesterday that while it was heartening for the government to acknowledge the threat of acid mine drainage, pumping the poisonous water only in March 2012 was a reactive measure. Continue reading