e appeal to the new Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr. Gwede Mantashe that, during his tenure of office, he should stop the growing trend of granting prospecting and mining licences in water catchment areas and other areas of high biodiversity importance.
As our nation struggles with severe drought, water security should not be sacrificed for the benefit of short term economic gains.
We therefore urge him to exercise his discretion under Section 49 of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act to prohibit the granting of any prospecting right and mining right in the designated water catchment areas and other areas of critical biodiversity importance.
He should work with civil society organisations who, in February 2011, presented to his predecessor (Minister Shabangu) a list of potential areas for inclusion in the no go zone for mining.
We also ask him to take decisive policy action to stop companies that off-load and sell off marginal mines to small companies during the end of mine’s life as an integral part of a closure strategy.
In pursuit of water security for our country, policy gaps and enforcement gaps in relation to mine closure should be closed, especially in relation to coal and gold mines which have significant water impacts.