Mapungubwe National Park and Mining

Jun 13, 2009

Mission: investigation into proposed mining activities within the Mapungubwe National Park
Requesting organisation: anine Grobler, an independent TV producer commissioned by 50-50
Location: Mapungubwe National Park
Pilot: Avroy Shlain accompanied by Tamiko Sher

The Mapungubwe survey team.  From the left: Bateleurs pilots Tamiko Sher and Avroy Shlain, with Janine Grobler

Shortly before its withdrawal by the SABC, 50-50 conducted an investigation into proposed mining activities within the Mapungubwe National Park, and this story was featured in their final programme.  Avroy Shlain, Bateleurs pilot and director, flew Janine Grobler, an independent TV producer commissioned by 50-50, to survey the situation in Mapungubwe.  They were accompanied by Bateleurs pilot, Tamiko Sher.

This photo shows an open cast mine in the region of the Mapungubwe National Park

mapungubwe_mining2
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Report by Janine Grobler

“Unfortunately the 50-50 offices closed down shortly after their last broadcast, which was on the Mapungubwe National Park, and at that time the Mapungubwe coal mining issue had not been resolved.  The mining company, Coal of Africa, will submit its environmental impact assessments to the Department of Mineral and Energy (DME) at the end of June.  All interested and affected parties must also submit their objections at the same time, and we will have to wait to hear the outcome.  
Once again, assistance from The Bateleurs enabled the production team to fly over the Mapungubwe National Park and the proposed Transfrontier Park.  Coal of Africa has applied for rights to mine within this region.  The reality is that prospecting permits have been issued to a number of mining companies all around Mapungubwe National Park, and within nature reserves and on private game farms.  The aerial footage gave both the production team and the TV viewer the opportunity to see an overview of the area and where and how mining will impact on the region as a whole. The area is reasonably flat and this makes it difficult to show distances and positions of the proposed mining concessions when seen from the ground.  The aerial views made it so much clearer and one could clearly see just how close the proposed mining, the Vele Colliery,would be to the National Park.  As many South Africans are not familiar with the area, or have not actually travelled through the park, I believe that the aerial footage may also have promoted the region in terms of tourism.
I would like to thank Avroy for his time and supportive input, and thank The Bateleurs for once again coming to the fore and supporting a worthy environmental cause.”

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