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Environmental non-compliances reported by affected communities, the media, & NGOs

In a 2010 minor dissertation considering the correlation between rainfall and groundwater quality on the Impala Platinum Refineries site, it is noted that “[t]he pollution of water resources including groundwater from mining operations is seen as significant. Due to historical mining operations and effluent treatment practices on the study site various pathways for pollution exist. Although the groundwater in the area is not used for irrigation or domestic use the deterioration in the vicinity of the East Geduld No. 1 tailings dam is concerning in light of the close proximity to the Blesbok Spruit RAMSAR wetland.”1

The dissertation also states that “[t]his research is important because some effluent treatment activities impact the immediate surroundings and groundwater quality. Degraded groundwater quality can impact surface water which both in turn can affect the agricultural sector that uses the water for irrigation. Livestock exposed to the water can also be negatively affected. Movement of an underground pollution plume may also affect communities downstream which are dependent on groundwater for domestic purposes.”2

In response to a PAIA request submitted by the CER for records indicating the names of mines and industrial facilities in respect of which notices or directives under the National Water Act have been issued, the Department of Water & Sanitation responded with information which indicated that Marula Platinum Mine (an Implats operation) was issued with a notice under the National Water Act on 19 November 2014.

  1. ‘The correlation between rainfall and groundwater quality on the Impala Platinum Refineries site’, by Johanna Burger, at pxi and 7, available at https://ujdigispace.uj.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10210/4711/Burger.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
  2. The correlation between rainfall and groundwater quality on the Impala Platinum Refineries site’, by Johanna Burger, at p5-6, available at https://ujdigispace.uj.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10210/4711/Burger.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y