Jumbo22 12:16pm, 31 March 2010
I’m on my knees, asking the world for help, please….

I’m on my knees, asking the world for help, please….

I’m especially asking my Australian Flickr friends (as well as the Saffies) to take the time to read the following.
How would the Australian public react if a South African mining company were awarded a licence to start an open cast coal mine 7 km from Ayers Rock? I’m sure the outcry would have been enormous, and your government would have, in any case, not allowed this to happen. In SA we do not have the luxury of a government with such high moral values. They have just awarded ‘unconditional new order mining rights' to an Australian company (Coal of Africa Limited - CoAL) to start such a mine right next to Mapungubwe National Park, one of SA’s few World Heritage Sites. The pollution from this mine, as well as the planned coal fire power stations, is going to mean the end of one of SA’s most unique and beautiful areas…not to mention the loss of the rich cultural heritage this park holds.
There are many question marks over the process that was followed to award this license. This includes a high profile ANC member being appointed as CoAl’s executive director, etc. Merely pointing fingers at CoAL will not be fair…the SA government departments are increasingly plagued by corruption (putting it mildly). But it will help greatly if this whole thing gets thoroughly investigated and opposed from SA, and the Australian side.

A concerned SA citizen emailed the Prime Minister of Australia (Mr Kevin Rudd) regarding this issue. He actually received a reply back stating that the matter was handed over to Min. Martin Ferguson of the Dept of Resources, Energy and Tourism as well as Min. Peter Garrett from the Dept of Environment, Heritage and Arts. Sadly it seems it all stopped there. This is however much better than the response from our own President Zuma…which was non.

It will greatly help if the citizens of Australia are also made aware of this atrocity and we all stand together to urge our governments to act responsibly …giving better thought to what we will leave behind for future generations. To my friends in Oz…if you can, please send emails to your newspapers etc informing them, and hopefully many more, about what is about to happen in our country.

Apart from this, there is another way all of us can fight this mine (this counts for people from right across the globe)
A stakeholder group was formed, consisting out of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), WWF South Africa, the Mapungubwe Action Group, the Office of the International Coordinator for the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA and Peace Parks Foundation….and now Birdlife SA has also joined the ranks. They are going to appose this mine through legal action, but for this they need funds. Please take the time to read the following link and consider supporting this more than worthy cause.
www.peaceparks.org/News_1090000000_0_0_0_0_832_Objection to coal mine next to Greater Mapungubwe TFCA.htm

PS: this photo was taken this past weekend at the Maloutswa Hide in Mapungubwe National Park. Withing 1 ½ hrs 5 breeding herds of elephants arrived and they went into a complete frenzy, diving into the waterhole that is currently just mud. The mud was flying everywhere; I even ended up with mud on my legs LOL
I’m praying that this will not be the last time I had the privilage to experience the magic of Mapungubwe…..and that the true owners of Mapungubwe will keep on breath clean air, drink unpolluted water, eat vegetation that is not covered in coal dust and do not have to run in fear from the sound of blasting works.
lovely wave [deleted] 8 years ago
Replied to in the Australian National Parks group.
ausfi Posted 7 years ago. Edited by ausfi (member) 7 years ago
After17 months, the news is not good.

The presence of heavy industry - and mines - in the Mapungubwe area will impact enormously on its tourism and conservation, to such a degree that these activities will have to be reconsidered for the future, the Save Mapungubwe Coalition Group said on Monday.

"SA signed a binding document whereby it agreed to be a partner in a trilateral conservation development. By allowing that same conservation area to become part of an industrial area, it is not adhering to the spirit of that agreement," the coalition of seven civil society organisations said.

Civil society organisations are up in arms over the government's seeming about turn on allowing mining in this ecologically and historically sensitive area.

Last week the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and South African National Parks, which manages the Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site, signed an agreement with Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL, CZA).

CoAL, a coal development company operating in SA, is busy establishing its Vele Colliery on the outskirts of the ancient cultural site in Limpopo. Last week's agreement effectively sees the company commit to preserving the integrity of the world heritage site but civil society groups are not convinced.

The Mapungubwe Action Group, another cluster of civil society groups, dismissed the agreement as not being worth the paper it is written on.

Chairman Nick Hiltermann said the agreement sets conditions already put in place when mining at the Vele colliery was authorised.

Dubbed a public relations exercise, the civil society groups argue that the development has been authorised amid promises of billions of rands worth of investment and thousands of jobs.

But they say the authorisation, which will see establishment of the colliery proceed after a year of lying in wait of water and environmental authorisations, is now threatening the development of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The colliery lies across the river from the Zimbabwe component of the transfrontier area.
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