Dear friends

Summary of current events

  • Apparently Bongani Minerals was awarded a Prospecting Right in the Verlorenvlei catchment on 1 July 2011 – landowners have received letters from Bongani and Withers Environmental.
  • A Prospecting Right stamped by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and a valid EMP have yet to be seen – legal counsel Adv Martin Coetzee has requested these from both the DMR and Withers.
  • Adv Martin Coetzee – on behalf of landowners and the Verlorenvlie Coalition – has requested Reasons for awarding the PR from the DMR.
  • Adv Martin Coetzee will also lodge an appeal against the granting of the prospecting right.
  • If necessary we will proceed to a judicial review.
  • The Coalition is not convinced that the DMR has in fact engaged sufficiently with the objections made during the application to prospect.

Our Bill of Rights

We have enshrined within our South African Constitution, a Bill of Rights which clearly states:


24         Everyone has the right –

(a)           to an environment which is not harmful to their health or well-being; and

(b)           to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative measures that-

(i)            prevent pollution and ecological degradation,

(ii)           promote conservation; and

(iii)          secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.”

When the potential for irretrievable environmental degradation has been so clearly spelled out, the fragile nature of the aquifers which underlie the Moutonshoek Valley has been noted and an area of 4000 square kilometers would be placed at such high and unacceptable risk, it is difficult to fathom the rationale behind this decision.

Our country does not have water or arable land to spare; if we are unable to see the incontrovertible value of these primary supporters and sustainers of life we have arrived at a sad and sorry point in our history

Now is the time that we the people overtly demand that our government conforms to the Bill of Rights and that water and arable land must take precedence over minerals.

The contribution you can make to our cause

  • Any information which can underpin our case will be very useful.
  • For example, information about the people who live in the Verlorenvallei, their business enterprises, community initiatives, details of farming activities from the Piket-bo-berg to Elands Bay.
  • Write letters to the press.
  • Write to the Department of Mineral Resources:

Mr S Mapakane

The Regional Manager

Mineral Regulation and Administration: Western Cape

Department of Minerals and Energy

Private Bag X9

Rogge Bay 8012

Per fax: 021 427 1046

  • Join the Coalition and get your friends to join.
  • Use all available social networks to spread the message.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Please download letters to the DMR and Bongani Minerals here.

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Thank you and all strength from the Verlorenvlei Coalition