Coal mining destroying arable land

WEB_PHOTO_FARMING2_030413

FILE: Farmworkers are seen on a farm.

FILE: Farmworkers are seen on a farm.

WEB_PHOTO_FARMING2_030413

FILE: Farmworkers are seen on a farm.

FILE: Farmworkers are seen on a farm.

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.