Kaywell Holdings did not get it quite right when they posted a notice in April, on a fence in Hennops River. They were applying to the Department of Mineral Resourced for a mining licence for “Beryl, Limestone, Iron Ore, Gold and Copper” on a very large property in the Hennops River valley.
They got it very wrong. There was no mention of the exact property, or of a consultant handling the application, no telephone number, fax or email address. Interested and Affected Parties were simply told to write to the DMR at its Braamfontein postal address or to The Director, Kaywell Holdings. Which they did, with no response.
This did not deter the residents. Bob Glossop of Gerhardsville (the area closest) personally delivered more than 120 letters of complaint to the DMR in Johannesburg - with no response to date. Hennops River residents sent in another batch. No reply. Par for the course?
Four months later, on 1 August, a second notice appeared, this time posted by environmental consultants Bokamoso, giving the exact site: Portion 209 (a Portion of Portion 83) of the Farm Hennopsrivier 489 JQ. Plus stating that a Water Use Licence would also be lodged with the Department of Water Affairs.
South Africa is riddled with mines destroying water sources and contaminating rivers. We don’t need another one. The Biodiversity and Mining Guidelines developed to guide decision making and the applicants. In this instance there is explicit direction that biodiversity priority areas may present high risks for mining projects, and may limit the potential for mining.
The Isidwedwe Clothing Company Primary Cooperative has applied to develop a cattle feedlot and abattoir, bordering on an area designated for a Nature Reserve. Located in Laezonia, plans for the 10 ha property include a feedlot “with a maximum carrying capacity of 1 000, a small stock layout for a maximum of 1 500, plus an abattoir and associated structures.” The slaughter of animals will include cattle, poultry, reptiles (excluding crocodiles), pigs, rabbits, ostriches and emu. Lucky crocodiles.
At a public participation meeting on the property in January (surrounded by several armed guards) a large group of local residents voiced their concerns. These included establishing a business of this nature so close to a Nature Reserve in the process of being proclaimed, the damage to local dirt roads by large trucks and the polluting of a local stream. A wetland running through the property feeds into the small Notta River, which runs into the Jukskei a few kilometres further.
The Environmental Assessment Practitioner for the application is Hydro Geo Engineers (Pty Ltd), represented by Blessing Taenzana.
New Wastewater Treatment Works
The explosion of new housing developments to the north-west of Johannesburg has necessitated the building of a new wastewater treatment works. Two sites have been proposed - one on the Jukskei River next to Lanseria Airport, and a second on the Crocodile River, north-west of Lanseria.
Nemai Consulting, the consultants appointed by Joburg Water, have been conducting focus group meetings with residents and businesses in the surrounding areas, in preparation for the required public participation meetings.
In a meeting with representatives of the Rhenosterspruit Conservancy/Crocodile River Reserve, concern was expressed about the negative impact such a treatment works would have on a valuable natural area, Site alternatives should consider already transformed sites, or sites planned for industrial/commercial activities. The loss of natural and recreation space in this densely populated province has to be a consideration for planners. .