Residents of the Elandspruit area, along the R555 (old Witbank road), have the opportunity to comment on and contest the application for a scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment made by Hillside Siding at a public participation programme tomorrow.
The meeting will be held from 11:00 at Hermansdal Lodge on Tuesday and is part of the scoping and EIA process for the construction of a new coal wash plant.
Residents of the Elandspruit area have been fighting against the ongoing pollution of the Spookspruit since the beginning of the year.
During a site visit attended by the Middelburg Observer and the DA Shadow Minister of Environmental Affairs, it was witnessed that an existing coal washing plant was leaking coal slurry from one of their pollution dams into the surrounding wetland areas, which ultimately came to land in the Spookspruit.
According to one resident, who requested anonymity, the public participation meeting is being held in connection with a coal washing plant, where construction already commenced at the beginning of the year.
“Construction of the wash plant is already complete by 90 per cent, but they are only launching the EIA process now?” the resident pointed out.
He called upon the involvement of as many residents as possible to keep fighting for the natural environment.
According to MP Annerie Weber, both the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Water and Sanitation responded that they have no record of prospecting licences or water usage licences for the plants situated on sections of Elandspruit 291 JS or Kernsig Twaalf Pty Ltd.
In response to her written request for such licences, both departments concluded that they would investigate the operations of the involved wash plants, “The DMR did conduct an inspection at the wash plant but ultimately referred the matter to the Provincial Department,” MP Weber said.
It is believed that no response from the provincial Departments of Mineral Resources or Water and Sanitation was ever received.