Coal mine at Rietvlei can ‘contaminate’ water system – VF Plus

Henry

There is increasing concern about the mine in the vicinity of the Rietvleidam and nature reserve in Pretoria which has applied to expand its clay mining operations and also mine coal.

Currently, Corobrick, which owns the mine, is only authorized to mine for clay for making bricks.

According to Dehan Harmse, FF Plus councilor in the Tshwane metro, the mining of coal could potentially pollute the water system in the area.

In addition, the environmental report submitted with the mine’s application looks “suspicious”, says Harmse.

RNews reported earlier that the civil rights group AfriForum is also concerned about the “extremely flawed” environmental impact study that was carried out in support of environmental authorization for the coal mine.

This civil rights organization pointed out how the report is riddled with contradictions and it seems as if parts of the text were copied from other reports without any adaptation.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy warned the mine earlier this year to submit a retroactive application for environmental authorisation. The directive follows after it came to light that coal reserves exposed during the clay mine’s normal operations are being mined without the necessary authorization.

The application is subject to a basic impact assessment process and the Draft Basic Impact Assessment Report is currently available for public comment.

“The Rietvlei nature reserve is known among Pretorianians as a refuge in nature and is home to the endangered Bankenveld grassland, around 2,000 different animal species and 240 different bird species,” says Harmse.

“The FF Plus will monitor the situation and take the necessary steps if it appears that the mine poses a threat to the environment and nature.”

The FF Plus appeals to residents to also attend the public meeting on September 8 at 11:00 at the yacht club at the Rietvlei nature reserve to provide input.

Public comments can be made here.