mine water

Stock image of mine water.

Members of the public have until the end of September to submit their comments on the Department of Water and Sanitation’s Mine Water Management Policy.

According to the department the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and related mine water impacts have in the past decade evolved to become major environmental challenges, thus the need to have a policy to regulate and protect water resources.

“This is in line with the National Water Act, 1998 (Act of 36 of 1998) (NWA) which provides a framework for the protection, use development, conservation, management and the control of water resources for the country as a whole,” the department said.

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane approved the gazette (vol 625 – no 40987) for the Mine Water Management Policy in July 2017, and opened it to the public for comments.

Regulating mine activities crucial for Western Cape

The policy proposes a number of considerations which include the optimum use of the best available technology to ensure sustainability.

On Tuesday, the department’s Western Cape branch hosted a Mine Water Management Policy consultation in Cape Town.

The Western Cape, like other provinces engages in mining activities, which include the exploitation of sandstone and building sand.

“Given the prevailing drought in the Western Cape, regulation of mine activities is crucial,” the department said.

The documents for Mine Water Management Policy can be obtained through the gazette notice: Mine Water Management Policy vol-625-no-40987.

Comments can also be submitted at km@dws.gov.za.