I was just reading the latest WESSA newsletter and I see this disturbing article:
Shocking development: Prospecting rights granted at Verlorenvlei
The 1 July decision by the Department of Mineral Resources to grant Bongani Minerals prospecting rights in the Mouton’s Hoek Valley could have dire consequences for all in the Verlorenvlei catchment. Situated in the West Coast District Municipality and feeding into the sea at Elands Bay, the extensive estuarine wetland system of Verlorenvlei is registered as a Ramsar site and an Important Bird Area yet is afforded little environmental protection.
The Verlorenvlei Coalition and WESSA are shocked at this decision and will continue to resist this process. This is a rich agricultural area and many farmers and their labourers will be displaced should mining go ahead. Mining in Mouton’s Hoek is a serious threat to precious water resources (the valley provides 60% of the ecologically-sensitive vlei’s water), tourism and biodiversity.
WESSA has been working with the Verloerenvlei Coalition since its inception in 2008 and are now actively pursuing options for a more proactive approach to land-use management in the area.
To read more, and to join the Verlorenvlei Coalition - a group of over 1550 individuals and 48 organizations opposing the proposed mining operation – visit www.verlorenvlei.co.za.
Read Farieda Khan's article on this most magical of places in the December 2010 issue of Veld & Flora, vol 96(4) pp182-183.