IN PHOTOS: Profit over people – Central Rand Gold ditches last plea from Riverlea community
Kaya News discovers an illegal dumping site, containing rubble and medical waste, just meters away from a school in Riverlea, Johannesburg. With no access to a detailed closure plan for Central Rand Gold’s Mine’s in sight, affected residents and students alike face potentially grave health risks. By Tunicia Phillips
Central Rand Gold has ditched yet another consultation with the Riverlea community in Johannesburg. The u-turn comes just days after a case of illegal dumping was lodged at Langlaagte Police Station on Friday.
During a recent steak out, community members from the areas local forum spotted around twenty trucks dumping various forms of waste in the areas mine landfill site. Some of the trucks branded WBHO, Satara Trucking and D&E Earthworks and Plant Hire have allegedly been dumping waste from the M1 refurbishment project as well as medical waste. The landfill has not only concerned residents for the type of waste dumped there but for years pupils at the local school have walked along a pathway running along an 800 metre drop into the dip. On a site inspection recently, Kaya News discovered large amounts of medical, construction and mine waste at the site. The Riverlea Community Forum says their main concerns are for the children who are not protected from the kind of waste dumped at the site and the risks of falling into the hole.
Community Forum Chairperson Reece Rosenberg says Central Rand Gold has used delay tactics for over 3 years. In an SMS sent to the forum, Central Rand Gold told the community forum that they have now consulted their ward councillor Anthony Francis and will continue to consult with council on the operation. What’s bizarre about the communication is that the Ward Cllr in Riverlea is the DA’s Basil Douglas. Anthony Francis is the ANC candidate for councillor in the area and holds no position in council. Central Rand Gold is yet to respond to a Kaya News request for comment.
Section 24(a) of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to an environment which is not harmful to his or her health and well-being. This supersedes all other legislation. Therefore a person suffering harm as a result of mining activities may still claim damages from a mine and/ or its directors and even the shareholders in terms of company law, once the mine has closed.
Section 41 of the MPRDA, 2002 makes financial provision for the remediation of environmental damage. Section 42 makes provision for the management of residue stockpiles and deposits. Regulations in this regard also adopt the principles of waste management in the Integrated Pollution Control and Waste Management Policy as well as the precautionary approach followed in terms of the National Water Act, 1998. The regulations also prescribe waste management throughout the life-cycle of a mine including decommissioning, closure and post-closure management of deposits. (The South African legislative framework for mine closure, The Journal of The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: October 2003)
Rosenberg says it’s been a 3- year battle to get a detailed mine closure plan from the company.
“Why they have engaged an ANC candidate, I can’t tell you.
“They’ve engaged with actual councillor many times, so I don’t know why they are now claiming to be consulting another councillor.
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