Category: Mapungubwe.

Unesco to visit Mapungubwe

Nov 16, 2010 2:54 PM | By Sapa

Representatives from Unesco will visit the Mapungubwe National Heritage site to assess the impact of mining in the area, the Save Mapungubwe coalition group says.

“A team of experts from [the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation] arrives at Mapungubwe this week to assess the impact that the Vele mine might have on the famous Mapungubwe World Heritage Site,” said spokesman Werner Myburgh.

Coal of Africa (CoAL), an Australia-based mining company, stopped certain construction activities at its new Vele coal mine after receiving a compliance notice from the department of environmental affairs in August.

The mining site is less than six kilometres from the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape and National Park where the world-famous 800-year-old gold rhino statuette was unearthed in 1933.

The company had allegedly not completed the necessary Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).

“The whole area sits on a coal seam and, if mining goes ahead, it will create a precedent for other applications to be granted… this would spell the end of the trans-frontier conservation area, the cultural history and the magnificent beauty of the area.”

Myburgh said the park would make a more significant contribution to SA’s economy than a “short-term capital injection with a life-span of 29 years”

He said: “What is missing from [previous] assessments is the very real loss of long-term jobs in other more sustainable sectors such as agriculture and tourism due to mining in inappropriate areas”.

Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, is expected to deliver a decision on CoAL’s mining right at Vele next month, Myburgh said.

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Category: Mapungubwe
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