Mapungubwe - This is just wrong





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  1. #1
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    Default Mapungubwe - This is just wrong

    In Beeld this morning: this is just wrong on so many levels
    1. It was not front page news
    2. That they have the audacity to think they can make and break as they please
    3. That they might get away with making and breaking as they please and nothing gets done
    4. That 1000's year old trees just got taken out - who's going to fix that?
    5. That I do not have the power to stop them

    "Elise Tempelhoff, Beeld
    Pretoria - Giant baobabs and several hectares of indigenous forest near Mapungubwe, a world heritage site, have been flattened by a mining company, without having permission to do so.

    Large-scale destruction is currently being caused by Coal of Africa (CoAl) on the bank of the Limpopo River, just a kilometre or two from Mapungubwe, without the company having obtained the necessary water licence or any other kind of environmental approval.

    CoAl has only mining rights (for coal) which were granted by the Department of Mining, but without a water licence or other environmental approval, no mining activities can be allowed.

    CoAl has already cleared many hectares of indigenous forest in order to start building its controversial Vele coal mine on the bank of the Limpopo River, about 5km east of Mapungubwe

    Legal action against mine

    Meanwhile eight bodies, including non-governmental organisations and conservation groups, have launched legal action because they fear the mine will destroy Mapungubwe ecologically, archaeologically, as well as culturally.

    Their legal documents also state that if CoAl's mine is approved here, it would be the start of the industrialisation of the Limpopo River Valley.

    Anglo Coal has already started prospecting for coal on farms bordering Mapungubwe.

    A consortium of business people are also busy with plans to build a power station, Mulilo, next to the Vele coal mine.

    It seems the Department of Environmental Affairs did not authorise the building of a road to the site where the mine will be built, but CoAl nonetheless continued construction.

    The Department of Environmental Affairs has, over the past two weeks, failed to answer questions regarding CoAl's planned Vele coal mine

    Sputnik Ratau, spokesperson for Buyelwa Sonjica, minister of water and environmental affairs, said about ten days ago the department doesn't approve of CoAl's activities, since it threatens the conservation of Mapungubwe.

    When asked about the planned meeting on mining in sensitive areas between Sonjica and her equivalent in the Department of Mining, Susan Shabangu, Ratau said Sonjica is "struggling" to make time in her "busy schedule" to speak to Shabangu about her disapproval of CoAl's plans and alleged transgressions of all environmental laws.

    'Unconditional approval

    Meanwhile, CoAl responded to enquiries through its consultation company, Brunswick, saying on March 12 the Department of Mining gave CoAl "unconditional" approval to start building its Vele coal mine.

    Therefore, CoAl does not believe it is acting illegally. The company is doing the preparation work while waiting for the approval of the water licence, CoAl said in a statement on Tuesday.

    A source says conflicting national interests with international implications are now of concern.

    Mapungubwe is not only a world heritage site, but also a trans-frontier park which involves Zimbabwe and Botswana, and as such, international agreements now hang in the balance.

    Jeremy Michaels, spokesperson for the Department of Mining, did not respond after repeated attempts to contact him."

    Garrie
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  2. #2
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    Miems,

    I know nothing of this, but why don't you alert Tony Weaver......either by PM or by emailing him at the Cape Times. It is the sort of story that he is normally very hot on.

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

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    Yes, it sounds like we need to make this one stink.

    Tony Tony, please come in.
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    These guys are well connected and answer to no one. All they are interested in, is money, stuff the country
    ORA
    -------------------------
    Ian

  5. #5
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    I've alerted Tony.......no doubt he'll pick this up in the morning.

    Mike
    "A poxy, feral, Brit architect who drinks bad beer and supports the wrong rugby team." Tony Weaver

    "Mike for President" Freeflyd

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    I've alerted Tony.......no doubt he'll pick this up in the morning.
    Mike
    I am on it. This is an Australian company that has bought off influential politicians. Think Julius. Gauteng and other northern members need to mobilize on this - ironically, it is easier to mobilize around a Zambian issue down here in the Cape than an issue in another province.

  7. #7
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    Tony, what do you want from me?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henris View Post
    Tony, what do you want from me?
    A land cruiser? Henri, if Beeld is on the story it is a good start. A letter Writing campaign to the newspapers is always a good thing ... We sit up and take notice when there are lots of letters. Main thing is to make noise ... I will also alert the Star and Carte Blanche

    Tony

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    Tony is on board. Great stuff Tony.

    "Gee hom gas"
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    i find it amazing the extent the aussies will go to on their border controls to stop any alien plants or bugs entering to protect their natural habitat but have no regards for other countries. they are quite happy to come here and destroy huge areas of land for mining and then try justify it by saying they are helping the local community.

  11. #11
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    Give me a clue on where to write to and I'm there.
    Gavin

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    Default Write to the Australian Press

    Surely we should write to the Australian press and shame the Australian mining Co. The Australians are very eco-conscious.

    Tony do you know which Australian Company is involved. They are a disgrace enriching themselves at the expense of our natural heritage. I am sure they would be up in arms if we started blasting Ayers Rock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinter View Post
    Surely we should write to the Australian press and shame the Australian mining Co. The Australians are very eco-conscious.

    I am sure they would be up in arms if we started blasting Ayers Rock.
    My thoughts exactly, so far as writing to the Aussie press.......

    -

    However, I've got to pick you up on a couple of things. Aussies as environmentally conscious? They are still, as far as I know, the world's largest emitters of CO2 per head, and it is increasing, not decreasing.

    ........and I'm sure you meant Ulluru

    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinter View Post
    Surely we should write to the Australian press and shame the Australian mining Co. The Australians are very eco-conscious.

    Tony do you know which Australian Company is involved. They are a disgrace enriching themselves at the expense of our natural heritage. I am sure they would be up in arms if we started blasting Ayers Rock.
    Coal of Africa Limited
    Listed in Australia with secondary listings in London and Johannesburg.

    Louis


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    Get this up on Facebook
    David Wolmarans

    Ford Ranger 2.5 4 x 4 DC turbo diesel, bog standard (Have now fitted a Burnco front bumper, looking for a snorkel)

  16. #16
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    Mike,

    .....surely you mean Uluru?

    Having been born in an era before the "Rinderpest" I know it as Ayers Rock.

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinter View Post
    Mike,
    .....surely you mean Uluru?
    Having been born in an era before the "Rinderpest" I know it as Ayers Rock.
    Mike.
    Yup, the big red rock. Call it whatever you please, but blowing it up will sure as hell get all the enviro-Aussies on board and have the Ab...(probably "previous locally present inhabitants" or something to that effect, one never knows) call up the ancestors.

    Be that as it may, WE need to protect out own. I am all for commercial enterprise, but you do NOT destroy our valley in the process.

  18. #18
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    Have just fired of an email to [email protected]

    Garrie
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  19. #19
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    This has just been sent to me by the Peace Parks Foundation. The heavyweights are mobilising against the mine:

    1
    Media Release
    12 May 2010
    Starts
    FIGHT TO SAVE THE MAPUNGUBWE WORLD HERITAGE SITE INTENSIFIES
    The fight to protect the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape from coal mining heated up this
    week with the submission of an appeal against the mine by some of the leading nongovernmental
    organisations in South Africa. Australian company Coal of Africa Limited
    (CoAL) was recently given the go ahead to begin construction of an opencast and
    underground coal mine within less than 6km from the borders of the Mapungubwe National
    Park and adjacent to the World Heritage Site, with the approval of the Environmental
    Management Plan for the proposed Vele Colliery.
    The appeal was lodged by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), the Peace Parks Foundation
    (PPF), the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA), the
    Mapungubwe Action Group (MAG), the Wilderness Foundation South Africa (the WFSA), the
    World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (the WWF) and BirdLife South Africa (BLSA). The
    appellants are being represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of
    the Witwatersrand and include organisations whose objects and purposes involve the
    protection and maintenance of the environmental integrity of the area in and around
    Mapungubwe for current and future generations as it relates to the natural habitat,
    ecosystems, cultural heritage and related aspects of the environment.
    In addition, the appellants believe it to be in the greater public interest to have submitted
    this appeal in order to address the serious shortcomings of the Environmental Management
    Programme (EMP) and to attempt to prevent further damage to this environmentally
    sensitive and culturally important environment for all South Africans. In addition to the
    appeal lodged, the appellants further appealed to the Minister of Mineral Resources to
    exercise her powers in terms of section 103(4)(b) of the Mining and Petroleum Resources
    Development Act to suspend the right to mine pending the outcome of this appeal.
    The appeal was brought on the grounds that the EMP submitted by CoAL is deficient and
    that the approval of the EMP is unlawful and invalid because it purports to authorise
    conduct which is prohibited and unlawful in terms of the National Environmental
    Management: Protected Areas Act, 57 of 2003. Specifically, the EMP omits to consider
    certain consequences of mining in the area; misrepresents the true consequences of mining
    in the area; misrepresents the true impact of the consequences of mining in the area it
    identifies; and is premised on fundamentally erroneous assumptions regarding the nature of
    the mining to be done, the appropriate methods of evaluating its impact and the possibility
    of effectively managing or mitigating such impacts.
    Areas of major concern to the appellants include concerns for the sensitive landscapes in
    and around of the mining area; the statutory prohibition against mining on those portions of
    the mining area that have been proclaimed nature reserves; the archaeological and other
    heritage resources affected by the mining; the impact on biodiversity and specifically on
    habitat, ecosystems and various species in the mining area; the impact on the quantity and
    2
    quality of water resources; the noise and dust pollution that will be caused by mining; and
    the impact on the socio]economic conditions of persons affected by the mining operations,
    including such personsf rights, under section 24(a) of the Constitution, to an environment
    that is not harmful to their health and well]being. Furthermore, concern has been raised for
    the failure of the EMP approval process to comply with the public consultation required in
    terms of the Act in that relevant persons and communities, including affected parties in
    Zimbabwe and Botswana (which border this mine) were either ignored or their specific
    concerns ignored, or they were not consulted at all when they should have been.
    The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (MCL) was recognised in 2003 as a World Heritage Site
    under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,
    adopted by the General Conference of United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural
    Organization (UNESCO) on 16 November 1972 (the World Heritage Convention) as it is
    considered to have goutstanding universal valueh. The MCL was the original location of farreaching
    cultural and social changes in southern Africa between AD 900 and 1300 and its
    remains are a remarkably complete testimony ... of the ... largest kingdom in the African subcontinent.
    Further, Mapungubwe represents ga significant stage in the history of the African
    sub]continenth, and therefore, the significance of preserving the Mapungubwe Cultural
    Landscape, both to South Africa and the world at large cannot be overstated.
    The Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (originally known as the
    Limpopo]Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area) was established by means of a
    Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of South Africa, Botswana and
    Zimbabwe on 22 June 2006. In terms of this agreement, the three governments commit to
    attempting to establish a Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) that includes Mapungubwe
    National Park and the core area properties. It was renamed the Greater Mapungubwe
    Transfrontier Conservation Area on 19 June 2009 and although the proposed mining area is
    not within the proposed Greater Mapungubwe TFCA, it is almost surrounded by the TFCA.
    The entire northern border of the mining area along the Limpopo River is directly adjacent to
    the Zimbabwean portion of the TFCA and falls within the proposed phase 2 of the TFCA. The
    impact of the mining activities on this sensitive landscape is best described in terms of the
    impact on its gsense of placeh, derived from this unique natural environment, and enhanced
    by the distinctive mix of natural and cultural features in the landscape. An extract of the EMP
    submitted by CoAL describes this as:
    gVisiting the area is an experience of calmness. Together with the
    generally low presence of people in the area, the Mopane veld with
    the isolated occurrence of Baobab and Granite koppies gives a distinct
    character to the stretched out plains of the study area. The sense of
    place can be described as quiet and peaceful. Night time experiences
    are very quiet with complete darkness during moonless nights. This
    allows for excellent views of the night skies and the brightness of stars
    contrasted against the black of darkness. The visual qualities of the
    environment and the particular sense of place leave one with a good
    perception of the area, which is quite vulnerable to the introduction of
    mining and industrial activities.h
    3
    The EMP fails to adequately address the cumulative impacts of a number of associated
    activities of this mine, and the irreversible loss of biodiversity as a result. Impacts of dust
    creation, noise levels, vibrations and the visual landscape are also not adequately addressed,
    and the EMP is deficient in relation to the private nature reserves which lie within the mining
    area (in particular, within the area planned for opencast mining). In terms of current
    legislation, there is an absolute prohibition on any mining activity taking place in these
    nature reserves and no permit can be granted by any official, including the Minister for such
    mining.
    Of significance are the concerns that this mine will result in irreparable damage to the
    archaeological and palaeontological heritage resources which make this region so unique.
    The open]cast activities will, according to the EMP itself, result in the gtotal destructionh of
    any surface and sub]surface heritage resources and palaeontological remains that might
    exist on the land in question and the head of the decline shaft for the underground shaft
    appears to be at or very near the concentration of at least four heritage sites identified as a
    gan extended Middle Iron Age siteh. Rock art experts feel that the area has been
    insufficiently surveyed for rock art and that the potential impact of dust, vibrations and a
    change in the water table on rock art in the surrounding area, has not been dealt with
    adequately. The Mapungubwe area is one of only a handful of places in sub]Saharan Africa
    where rock paintings and rock engravings co]occur in the same landscape. The farms
    immediately north and west of Vele have been extensively surveyed for rock art and almost
    every farm has been shown to have rock art. Well known and important rock art sites
    immediately north and west of Vele will be impacted in serious and unacceptable ways, by
    the proposed mining work at Vele and any unknown sites at Vele will be destroyed should
    mining be allowed to proceed.
    The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape is an important part of South and southern Africafs
    heritage and is part of South Africafs national estate. Indeed, its designation as a World
    Heritage Site underscores its internationally recognised importance for informing us about
    early state formation processes in Africa and the important insights that the Mapungubwe
    hilltop and its related sites hold for our understanding of southern Africafs history.
    Threats to the water resources are also significant and include acid mine drainage, surface
    and groundwater contamination, impacts on the quality and quantity of water on the
    Zimbabwean side of the Limpopo River, the impact of water abstraction on the boreholes
    situated along the Limpopo floodplain and the damage and loss to irrigation farmers (with
    associated impacts on food security) on both sides of the Limpopo River.
    The concerns with this mine are great and are extensively covered in the appeal which is
    available on request. Given the recent commitments of the South African Government to
    reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% in the years to come, the continued exploitation at
    all costs of our coal reserves and the ongoing development of coal fired power stations flies
    in the face of the countryfs attempts to be taken seriously for our commitments to address
    the scourge of global climate change. The appellants firmly believe that this mine is not only
    an inappropriate landuse for the MCL and a region that it already thriving on a sustainable
    ecotourism industry, but that it makes a mockery of our regulatory framework if the
    inadequacies of the EMP can be overlooked for the sake of expediting its approval. The
    losses incurred to South Africa, and the world at large, if this mine proceeds, will be great. At
    4
    a time when South Africa is being showcased to the rest of the world and is trying to project
    a positive future, it would be sad if we were to bury our past in a heap of coal and rubble.
    Ends
    For more information or a copy of the appeal document please contact:
    Yolan Friedmann
    Chief Executive Officer
    Endangered Wildlife Trust
    Email: [email protected]
    www.ewt.org.za
    (011) 486 1102
    Andrew Muir
    Chief Executive Officer
    Wilderness Foundation
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel: (041) 373 0293
    Mark Anderson
    Executive Director
    BirdLife South Africa
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel. +27 (0) 11 789 1122
    Werner Myburgh
    Chief Executive Officer
    Peace Parks Foundation
    Tel: +27 (0)21 880 5100
    Email: [email protected]
    www.peaceparks.org
    Nick Hilterman
    Mapungubwe Action Group
    Tel: (011) 706 9483
    Email: [email protected]
    Dr Natalie Swanepoel
    Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists
    Tel: (012) 420 6348
    Email: [email protected]
    www.asapa.org.za
    5
    Note for Editors:
    http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/main.asp?include=orders/main.html
    The Order of Mapungubwe
    Mapungubwe
    A millennium ago, the amazing Kingdom of Mapungubwe existed in the northern corner of
    South Africa. It comprised a sophisticated state system, with highly developed agriculture,
    mining, and metallurgy industries. The Kingdom traded with countries as far afield as China.
    According to the Archaeology Department at the University of the Witwatersrand,
    Mapungubwe represented 'the most complex society in Southern Africa'. It is reputed to be
    the origin of the people, culture and foundation for the achievements of Great Zimbabwe.
    Mapungubwe Hill is a sandstone hill located on a mudstone deposit in the northern part of
    the Limpopo province, known for its arid subtropical climate and erratic summer rains. Out
    of this seeming barrenness, like an oasis in the desert, there blossomed the complex and
    highly developed state and culture, centred around a thriving town built on and around
    Mapungubwe Hill, which served as the capital of the ancient Mapungubwe Kingdom.
    The Order of Mapungubwe is awarded to South African citizens for achievements that
    have impacted internationally and served the interests of the Republic of South Africa. The
    first and highest category of this Order is awarded in platinum for unique and exceptional
    achievement; which the second]highest category is gold. The third category in this order is
    sliver, awarded for excellent achievement; and the fourth is bronze for outstanding
    achievement.
    This Order is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional
    achievement.

  20. #20
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    I'd expect a petition to have been set up already ? .. that way the man in the street can also contribute ..

    ... we must shout against this rape of our land, loudly, everywhere.
    Johan Mitchell, .... r.i.v. Swambo Marthie

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