TAKE PART IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS (PPP) AND FORMALLY OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED “DRAFT MINING CHARTER 2018” by the 30th of August 2018. HERE IS A GUIDELINE.
A blue crane chick, South Africa’s emblematic bird, listed in the Vulnerable Species by the IUCN, wanders around in a threatened area. Photo credit: Environment.co.za
23.08.18 The national and international public will have only another week to submit a formal comment regarding the new proposed normative for mining in South Africa, the so call “Draft Mining Charter 2018”.
All comments must be addressed to:
Integrated Environmental Management Support: Systems and Tools, South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe mail: George.Lekorotsoana@dmr.gov.za
Environment Minister Edna Molewa mail: PDaphne@environment.gov.za
Subject: Public Participation and Consultation, on the Draft Mining Charter 2018.
Specify your interest in the matter and if you are a Conservationist/ Environmentalist/ Tourist/ Photographer/ Organization/ Journalist/ Blogger/ Local/ Private individual.
Specify if in your opinion you have received by the South African Government/ by NGOs and Media/ Social Media/ Radio/ TV/ Advertisements, sufficient information on the consequences and implications linked to mining in South Africa, in accordance to
Section (2)(4)(f) and (o) of the NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT, 1998. In fact, the participation of all interested and affected parties (I&APs) in environmental governance must be promoted and all people must have the opportunity to develop the understanding, skills and capacity necessary for achieving equitable and effective participation.
State if you, according to the same NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT, 1998, have been adequately informed and given the opportunity to suggest ways for reducing or mitigating any negative impacts of the project and for enhancing its positive impacts, in meetings and workshops;
State if you think there was sufficient transparency in the management of conflicting interests since all potential and I&APs have a right to be informed early and in an informative and proactive way regarding proposals that may affect their lives or environment.
State if you have received sufficient and scientific information and proofs against the negative effects of mining, in particular if:
- Environmental contaminants associated with mining activities will/will not affect wildlife species and the ecosystems.
- If some contaminants associated with mines will cause acute or chronic effects on residents and wildlife, soil, water, rivers, ocean;
- If other forms of pollution will be even more severe. The mining process can in fact expose bodies of water to heavy metals and toxic minerals which can negatively impact the human and animals lives, plants, ecosystems and eventually the ocean.
- If seismic activity will be, in all cases, caused by mining.
- If there might be impacts of the project which extends beyond the boundaries of the local municipalities or provinces or nation.
- If the project is a new development in a previously undisturbed area.
- If the area already suffers from socio-economic problems (e.g. job losses) or environmental problems (e.g. pollution), and if the project is likely to exacerbate these.
- If people in the area were victims of unfair expropriations or relocation in the past.
- If profit-making will not be done at the expense of other interest groups.
You can express your concerns and strongly oppose the approval of the Draft if you think that:
- Most mining techniques destroy animal communities and have no regard for the animals living in the area.
- People who live near mines have been known to have increased risk of disease and health issues.
- Whilst there are obvious economic benefits to mining, the environmental and health impacts is too often ignored.
- Nothing has been done to protect women working in mines; women in the workforce need to be taken more seriously as they are outnumbered by ten to one and are continuously sexually harassed or raped.
- The debate about mining frequently fails to recognise that mining activity means local communities give up their land and their livelihoods, and suffer severe health effects, along with water and air contamination and soil erosion.
- The effect of mining is often the reduction of common and community land to a wasteland, in the name of investment and jobs.
- Proper cost-benefit analysis of mining and community impacts is never done.
- There are winners and losers in mining. The losers are locally affected communities and the winners are shareholders and executive management. So the question of what is investment, and at what cost, needs deeper inspection.
- Based on 13 studies by the Bench Marks Foundation, poor communities are getting poorer. Mine communities are largely traumatized people trying to survive amid destruction. They have no voices or are criminalized if they protest because the mine will not engage them.
- When communities are uprooted and relocated, the costs for them are enormous and include socioeconomic loss and exclusion from mine benefits;
- A major effect is the loss of ancestral land and culture shock; loss of their way of life and a sustainable existence.
- They local communities suffer and encounter economic losses through loss of land, degradation of soil — and thus their crops and cattle die — and associated water and air contamination and health impacts.
- The relatively high number of deaths in mines is an indication that the companies put profits and acquisitions ahead of the safety of workers.