Coal mining destroying arable land

14 July 2015 - Experts say mining across Mpumalanga is damaging land that's vital to food security. Grain SA has warned that this year may be the first time in seven years that South Africa will be a net importer of maize. Video: eNCA

BELFAST, Mpumalanga – An expert has warned that mining in Mpumalanga is damaging land that is vital to food security.

Mpumalanga is at the heart of South Africa’s coal production.

Mining coal acidifies the surrounding water and soil, meaning plants can’t grow, even long after the mines have closed down.

Louis Snyman, an environmental and mining attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, has warned that if this continues, the landscape will be left scarred and barren.

“What will happen at the end of the day this water that will be given to mines will be taken directly from farmers which is a huge issue when it comes to food security and when it comes to very fertile arable land becoming wastelands," said Snyman.

 

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