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South Africa’s own Chernobyl disaster?
by Julius Klokow
20 August 2010
MORE ARTICLES

Carte Blanche 1 August 2010 :-(

It seems that certain central suburbs, basements of buildings and areas in Gauteng may be flooded by radioactive underground water from July 2011 if nothing is done to manage this challenge, that is describe by some as South Africa’s own Chernobyl disaster in the making.

This type of water already surfaced from bore holes and lakes in certain regions of Gauteng. It is currently also flowing into our main river systems contaminating our drinking water. This water can not be used for human and animal consumption or the irrigation of crops. It is also very corrosive to steel and may damage the foundations of buildings.

This may happen because the closed mines don't pump rising water from the mines any more and the “good” underground water is contaminated by “bad” underground water as a result of mining. Therefore the levels of the four underwater tables below Gauteng are rising at an alarming rate of 18 metres per minute. The Department of Environmental Affairs in Gauteng indicated that it is a huge challenge but Gauteng will not be flooded as the necessary steps will be taken to manage the process.

To stop a huge disaster from happening, water can only be pumped from the mines and treated to remove most of the impurities before being pumped into the river systems but it is a costly process that costs one small mine 2 million rands per day. The problem is that no-one wants to take responsibility for this because of the costs involved and many of the mines have already closed.

Naturally a disaster like this will have a huge impact on our freshwater fishing resources making our rivers and lakes a health hazard to fish and killing most life present in these water systems.

Sounds like a huge mess!



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