Thungela hosts official launch of Loskop fish breeding facility

As part of the Wilge and Olifant River rehabilitation project, Thungela held their official launch of the fish breeding facility.

The rehabilitation of the Olifants and Wilge river system is strongly underway and was celebrated from the banks of the Loskop Dam today, during the official launch of a multi-million fish breeding facility.

The Loskop Nature Reserve played host to Thungela’s launch, which saw the CEOs and Senior Executives of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, Thungela, the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Nkangala District Municipality as well affected community members in attendance.

The launch consisted of a tour of the fish breeding facility, which includes an environmental room and larger outdoor breeding ponds, as well as the release of juvenile indigenous fish species recently bred from the facility.

Thungela CEO, Mr. July Ndlovu, disclosed that more than R3.3 million has been invested into the monitoring, conserving, and rehabilitation of aquatic life since the catastrophic spill of mine acid in February 2022.

The spill, which was the result of theft of infrastructure by organised and highly militant syndicates, took place at their Kromdraai Colliery and contaminated more than 60km of the Wilge and Olifants Rivers, ultimately finding its way to the Loskop Dam.

As part of their mining impact management, Thungela appointed the Biodiversity Company to take lead of the rehabilitation project in partnership with the MTPA and DWS.

Francois Grove (Thungela) at the environmental room.

A sum of R1.8 million has since been invested into the fish breeding facility, in addition to R1.5 million for monitoring of the project.
Mr Ndlovu addressed stakeholders today, saying that the incident has since served Thungela as a strong motive to ensure that an incident of this kind will not occur again.

He further added that the company stands firmly by its commitment to do what is right and take accountability for the impact mining has on the environment, land use and aquatic life.

He thanked the MTPA and DWS for their partnership and cooperation throughout the project, as well as commending the Hawks and SAPS for playing their role in addressing illegal mining and vandalism of infrastructure.

Thungela, has since spent millions on the development of two water treatment plants, groundwater monitoring boreholes, a 22KV powerline to restore electricity, and the dewatering of underground workings at the Kromdaai Colliery.

Following the official media briefing, stakeholders made their way down to the Kranspoort Spruit where two types of indigenous fish species, the banded Tilapia and the Southern Mouth Brooder were released. This is the second batch of indigenous fish species, which have been bred at the facility, to be reintroduced to the river system.

Former Aquatic Scientist of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, Andre Hoffman, releases the second batch of fish bred from the fish breeding facility at Loskop Nature Reserve, as part of the Thungela rehabilitation programme.

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