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SOUTH AFRICA TO ADDRESS ACID-MINE DRAINAGE IN JOHANNESBURG THROUGH $900 MILLION FUND

11/17/2014

South Africa’s Department for Water and Sanitation announced that funding for a program to clean up toxic water contamination from abandoned mines in and around Johannesburg was recently secured between the Department and the National Treasury. The contamination, or acid-mine drainage, occurs from the flooding of abandoned mine shafts. As the water drains through the mines it is contaminated with toxic metals before returning to rivers and streams. It is estimated that 10 billion rand, or $900 million, will be needed to address the issue in area; the funds will primarily be used to expand three existing water treatment facilities and establish a new facility. The Department of Water and Sanitation has not specified the amount or type of funds secured, though part of the cost will be borne by mining companies in the area. However, the government is expected to have to carry much of the cost because few environmental regulations were in place until the mid-1990s, and much of the damage occurred prior to that point. For the full story, see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-14/south-africa-gets-funds-for-900-million-acid-water-clean-up.html.