n Water&Sanitation Africa - Opening Pandora's box - : mine water

Volume 11 Number 5
  • ISSN : 1990-8857


Mining for gold, first discovered on the Witwatersrand in 1852, and coal in Vereeniging in 1878, has inadvertently opened Pandora's box - a chemical process that has generated a set of complicated and far-reaching problems. These problems have to be dealt with, before it really is too late. This, however, carries a hefty price tag. Speaking at the Central Basin's South West Vertical Shaft in Germiston on 18 May 2016, the Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, said, "Treating the polluted water that emanates from mines in the Witwatersrand Basin will cost as much as R12 billion. And, as much as 67% of this cost will be carried by the mines involved through an environmental levy."

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