Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Covid 19 vs Mining Affected Communities

6th April 2020
Lephalale( Marapong)
By Hlabiwa Letlhaka

Reading the work of different researchers around the world, I did end up feeling sorry for people who are long living under the polluted areas in South Africa.

We know very well that air pollution management and compliance are very difficult things to implement in South Africa based on lack of monitoring and enforcement. The enforcement to mining and power stations is not implemented by those who pretend like they are not affected because they are part of Polluters. National Environmental Management Act known as NEMA and Principles says it all. E.g. Polluter Pays and Duty of Care Principles.

All Power stations and Mines have violated their Environmental Management Plans / Programs.

Within my little knowledge I know that air pollution’s pollutants are going straight to lungs namely Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matters- Pm 2, 5 and Pm 10.

Compliance for Pm 2, 5 and Pm 10 is to install Fabric Filter Plant.

For Sulphur and Nitrogen Dioxides is to install FGD but it’s very difficult to install it because the Polluters said and always says is very much expensive.

Covid 19 attacks lungs???what about who are affected by pollutions? What about those who suffers from TB and other chronic diseases? They might be easily affected and killed by the virus.

People who are exposed to this are those who are working in the mentioned fields and who lives near. Cross Border Pollution is also a concern. I am also against those companies who keeps on postponing to comply with Minimum Emissions Standard. We are not against any mining activities but we want a clear compliance so that we cannot be killed in the name of economic growth and employment.

My wish is to see Government prioritizing to test mining communities and workers. Government, Parliament, Cabinet and Judiciary must hold those who pollutes accountable and to relate and implement their commitments.

Government’s Wealth mustn’t work against our Health and Nature.