South Africa 31.7.2015 05:05 pm

Mining company gets hefty fine for water pollution

Water pollution stock image courtesy of Stock.xchng.

Water pollution stock image courtesy of Stock.xchng.

South African National Parks (SANParks) welcomed the sentencing of Bosveld Phosphates (PTY) Ltd to a fine of about R1.4 million and a suspended sentence of R1.1 million on Thursday, July 30, for water spillage at the Ga-Selati River in 2014.

The spillage caused significant pollution in the environment, including the Kruger National Park (KNP)’s Olifants River, during the summer of 2013/14, Letaba Herald.

The ruling took place at the Phalaborwa Regional Court. Bosveld Phosphates pleaded guilty to contravening sections of both the National Environmental Management Act and the National Water Act through their unlawful discharge of hazardous waste water.

The sentence comes at a time when increasing climatic variability is expected to result in more frequent incidences of uncontrolled surface and sub-surface pollution events into water courses from industrial activities such as these.

“While SANParks welcomes the judgement by Magistrate Nkuna in this case, changing climatic conditions are an ongoing cause for concern around environmental pollution events and their effects on national water security and biodiversity.

“Much of the real cost of remediation of such pollution events is externalised and carried by the environment.”

“This judgement sends a strong message that compliance to South Africa’s environmental and water management legislation is non-negotiable and management strategies must be put in place by the investors to deal with the changing climate,” Stefanie Freitag-Ronaldson of GM: Savanna & Arid Research Unit: Scientific Services said.

SANParks commits to ongoing and long-term monitoring and evaluation of pollution events into KNP’s rivers, which are the lifeblood of this iconic national heritage and international treasure.

– Caxton News Service

 

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