As always on a Friday at this time, AMLive is joined by Martin Creamer, Publishing Editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly. Martin, a very good morning to you.
I believe we are watering growth in a thriving Rustenburg, would you believe that it is South Africa’s fastest growing city.
Yes, South Africa’s fastest growing city is now Rustenburg and it is all thanks to the platinum boom. Platinum needs water and Rand Water is now rushing through a R500-million pipeline, 81 km, from Midrand to Rustenburg to make sure that these mines can get the additional water that they need next year so that our platinum boom can continue. In the meantime, Rand Water is taking the opportunity to direct the pipeline through previously-disadvantaged areas that require water and new areas that need water augmentation. That is why they have chosen the route from Midrand through to Rustenburg because they will pass through areas like Diepsloot, Mnandi and also the southern shores of Hartebeespoort dam and even the Brits area, which require more water. These growth areas along the way will also feed off this new 81 km pipeline.
Gabon has got the ocean front, like we do, but what it doesn’t have is the know-how to build a waterfront. So, South Africans are helping out. Tell us more.
You know, it is quite nice for us to walk through the leisurely V & A Waterfront in Cape Town and we enjoy the commercial activity and entertainment, but I think few of us have realised that this concept of a working port within a leisure and entertainment area is actually marketable and exportable into Africa. This idea came to Entech Consulting, the South African-based consulting group, which decided to export the waterfront concept. They bought in the V & A Waterfront company, several South African architects and planners, and they went into West Africa in general and Gabon in particular. As we now speak, Gabon’s first waterfront is going up at Libreville. I am also able to report that Bar Beach is next, located in Lagos, Nigeria, where there is going to be a restoration and development of the Bar Beach waterfront complex. They are also talking to many other Africans, not the least being the Cameroonians.
A new clean-up strategy for the mining industry, tell us more about that.
They have given it the name Phepafatso, which is Tswana for “you must clean up”. That is what they are telling the mining industry, headed by the Deputy Minister Susan Shabangu of Minerals and Energy. She has got a three-pronged strategy for mines and the first is to enforce the law, rather innovatively in many respects. Fresh from the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, they are talking about law enforcement with the help of helicopter flights on a monthly basis over selected areas to pick out environmental degradation. They are also talking about satellite imaging and a special Natural Resources and Environmental Court of Law, where transgressors can be prosecuted speedily and effectively. They also intend introducing tax incentives for people who comply but a big stick and tax penalties for those who don’t. The second part of this mine clean-up strategy is to deal with hotspots. When you talk hotspots, you immediately think asbestos and Northern Cape. Should an asbestos fibre get into your lung, for instance, you can suffer from mesothelioma, which is a form of lung cancer. There are also other hotspots in the other provinces where mining has taken place and again they want to use satellite imagery to work out the extent of the mining-induced pollution plumes over those areas. The third big thrust is to deal with the derelict and abandoned mines that have scared our environment and they are starting by creating a database of these and then setting up legal status for these and then prioritising how to deal with derelict and abandoned mines.
Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is the Publishing Editor of the Engineering News and Mining Weekly and he will be back with us at the same time next Friday.