Permission to conduct commercial mining in protected environments
On 17 February, the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD), BirdLife South Africa (BirdLife), Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE), groundWork, the Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) wrote a letter to the Minister of Environmental Affairs noting their concern for the dangerous precedent set by her recent decision to allow commercial mining in the Mabola Protected Environment in terms of section 48(1)(b) of the National environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (NEMPAA). In the letter, the Minister was also called upon to conduct pubic participation in relation to all decisions relating to the exercise of her discretion in terms of section 48(1)(b) of the NEMPAA.
- Letter from AWARD, BirdLife, CER, EWT, FSE, groundWork, MEJCON-SA and WWF-SA to the Minister of Environmental Affairs, the DG of the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Affairs (17 February 2017)
- Media Release by the Department of Environmental Affairs, ‘Environmental Affairs clarifies matters around Atha-Africa Ventures to mine within the Mabola Protected Environment in Mpumalanga Province’ (23 February 2017)
- Joint media release in response to the Department of Environmental Affairs’ media release of 23 February 2017 (7 March 2017)