MISSION 04 of 2011
Name of Mission: KZN Rivers and Sand Mining
Date of Mission: 29 March 2011
Aircraft used: Cessna 172
Pilot: Brett Hill
Beneficiary: Paul Dutton
Objective of the Flight
To assess whether any action has been taken to curb sand mining along the Mvoti and Umhlali rivers.
Beneficiary’s story of the mission By Paul Dutton
KZN RIVERS AND SAND MINING by Paul Dutton
The last survey in 5 December 2009 indicated the extent to which our vital river systems were being trashed to keep up with the insatiable demand for coarse building sand to build the soccer stadium and new international airport in KZN. Our flight in Brett Hill’s Fox Bat ZU-ILE on 29 March 2011 showed that mining continues unabated, with the once tree-lined riverine margins of both the Mvoti and Umhlali rivers now succumbing to bulldozers.When journalist Khululiwe Makhaya published her story in December 2009 in the North Coast Courier she was threatened by local North Coast councillors whose relatives had been given the necessary permits to engage in sand mining.
Although our rivers are regarded as the life blood of our country, the Department of Water Affairs appears to have no interest in taking action against the perpetrators. I cannot expect the North Coast Courier to run another story about the mining, but I do have a suite of clear images from our flight that will be sent to them.
The result of our north coast rivers flight is now with our provincial parliament for debate.