Pollution

Call for Nuclear-Free Power Mix, Big Renewable Scale-Up

Environmental NGO, Greenpeace International, has called on the South African government to make ‘bold and courageous’ energy choices, to ensure a cleaner energy future without any additional nuclear and coal-fired power, after construction of the Medupi power station.

In its report titled ‘The advanced energy [R]evolution – A Sustainable Energy Outlook for South Africa’, the organisation warns that this would require a much more ambitious renewable-energy policy.

Fracking Opens Deep Divisions

The issue fracking goes down to the public's lack of trust in large corporations and the government, according to Dr Anthony Turton, a professor at the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of the Free State.

Speaking at a debate hosted by the Johannesburg Press Club and EE Publishers this week, Turton pointed out that, "If Shell hadn't engaged the way they did, this wouldn't have happened. It's in a part of the country that is highly water constrained. It may have a small population but it is a population of people not dependent on the government."

LDCs Fertile Ground for Green Economy

According to a report titled ‘Why a Green Economy Matters for the Least Developed Countries’ (LDC), the world's 48 least developed countries are fertile areas for the growth of a green economy.
 
The authors note that, when domestic markets have access to renewable energy (RE), there is also a reduction in poverty since RE creates local manufacturing jobs for related hardware and for the financing, distribution, installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems.
 

Shell Creating 'Wrong Impression': Lobby Group

The Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) says that Shell is creating the wrong impression by saying shale gas mining is good for South Africa.
 
Coordinator of the group lobbying against drilling for gas in the Karoo, Jonathan Deal, says that, "It is incredible that despite the clear reservations (based on environmental concerns) voiced by Cabinet recently, Shell continues to tour the country touting shale gas mining as something beneficial and good for South Africa."
 

NGOs Call for Fairer Mine Law Overhaul

Environmental and rights groups says that separate and unequal environmental rules for mines are ‘no longer defensible’.
The organisations have complained that they are being sidelined from early efforts to overhaul mining laws.

The 13 groups, including Lawyers for Human Rights, WWF South Africa and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, says the existing rules gave inadequate time to assess the environmental impacts of mines and imposed penalties that are so low as to be no disincentive whatsoever for mining companies.

Acid Mine Drainage: A Prolific Threat to South Africa’s Environment and Mining Industry

South Africa faces a number of critical environmental challenges ranging from land degradation to the obliteration of finite resources, but it is the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD) that may be its most perilous hazard in terms of its ramifications.2

NGOs Urge Parliament to Act on Acid Water

Environmental groups have asked a parliamentary committee for help in having a report on acid mine water drainage made public.

The Centre for Environmental Rights says that in a letter the organisations argue that it is essential that the findings of a report by a team of experts appointed by the inter-ministerial committee on acid mine drainage, be made public.

Inspectors Lack Specialist Skills - Shabangu

Mineral Resources Minister, Suzan Shabangu, says the environmental management inspectors employed to enforce mining regulations are not required to have a legal background or compliance skills.

Responding to a Parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance, Shabangu said that only 84 inspectors are employed by her department to ensure compliance with environmental laws.

Polluted Water Blamed for Skin Diseases in Children

The Department of Environmental Affairs says South Africa’s highly polluted rivers are not only killing our rivers but also causing dangerous skin diseases in children.

The department’s deputy minister, Rejoice Mabudhafasi, says the department found that that many children are getting various skin diseases. She says this is one of the things that prompted us to ensure that the ‘Isipingo Adopt-A-River’ project was launched.

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