Illegal sand mining in South Africa | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 2014
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Natural sand from estuary and coastal land is one of South Africa’s most valuable resources. However, there has recently been a drastic increase in uncontrolled and unauthorised sand mining activities in rivers, valleys and estuaries throughout the country. The frameworks governing small-scale sand mining in South Africa lack the necessary financial and human resource capacities to support better environmental compliance, and the enforcement mechanisms to successfully deter illegal activities are weak. Consequently, there has been a flurry of new entrants to the sector, creating a system fraught with social, environmental, legislative and structural challenges. Although the cumulative impact of these illegal activities is yet to be fully determined, existing policy and management responses do not have the urgency required to prevent the irreversible destruction of riverbeds and associated estuarine zones.

Recommendations include:

an evaluation of the cumulative impact of sand mining in a given environment should inform the decision to mine sand. Permits should be granted with due consideration to extraction limits and the natural sediment yield of the river system
illegal mines should be closed immediately, and estuary and riparian sand mining should be halted. Sand supplies must be obtained elsewhere, eg, by seeking more sustainable, nonriparian mining and dredging marine deposits
further clarity is needed on the extent to which sand mining
is subject to environmental regulation. The lack of
independent oversight should be addressed and the extent of the DEA’s appellate authority clarified
it is essential to enhance the capacity of national and
provincial EMIs to curb illegal mining and carry out
compliance assessments. Proper implementation and enforcement of EMPs should be prioritised,
including in relation to the inspection of environmental
authorisations and waste licences

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

R. Chevallier

Fournisseur de données

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