Local film exposes impact of mining activity along the west coast

The Cape Floral Region has been recognized as one of the world’s most special places for plants, and for good reason, writes Robyn Simpson of Cape {town} Etc. It is celebrated as one of the planet’s hotspots for its diversity of endemic and threatened plants, and contains outstanding examples of important ecological, biological and evolutionary processes underway.

This extraordinary assemblage of plant life and its associated fauna is represented by a series of 13 groups of protected areas covering an area of ​​over one million hectares. These protected areas also retain the exceptional ecological, biological and evolutionary processes associated with the beautiful and distinctive vegetation of the Fynbos, unique to the Cape Floral Region.

UNESCO considered the protected areas of the Cape Floristic Region as World Heritage sites, including the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve and Namaqua National Park.

Where land and sea collide:

The cold, nutrient-rich waters that rise up along the west coast fuel impressive rates of phytoplankton growth that support the highly productive Benguela ecosystem: one of five upwelling wind systems in the world’s oceans. It is an important center of marine biodiversity and one of the most productive ocean areas in the world, supporting rich fish stocks of sardines, anchovies and horse mackerel to name a few.

These interconnected ecosystems are a refuge for marine life such as whales, dolphins, seals, fish, birds, land mammals, reptiles, plants and unique habitats of insects and invertebrates.

And again, from the Orange River to Cape Columbine, hundreds of kilometers of South Africa’s west coast are mined or have been assigned to mining for diamonds, oil, gas and valuable heavy mineral deposits. .

“These industrial scale extractions have lasting consequences for local communities, fisheries and the natural environment, for generations to come,” says Protect the west coast (PTWC). PTWC is a non-profit company founded by South African big wave surfer Mike Schlebach.

The company is focused on the project to build a 40 billion rand port by the government for mining exports at Boegoe Bay in Port Nolloth and the Australian company Mineral Sands Resources, which currently holds the rights to mine heavy minerals. of value on the coast near the town of Lutzville, according to Daily Maverick. These are just two of a long list of projects.

The destruction along these hotspots gained attention in June this year after PTWC released a video highlighting the damage caused by the mining projects. Residents took to the beaches to protest and outcry on social media took off.

Also read: WATCH: Protesters broadcast video footage of mining on west coast beach

With the community of Cape Town, our oceans cry out. A current example is the massive seal deaths plaguing the west coast. Suspicions of bird flu behind the deaths have been dashed by the current state of our marine life: Cape fur seals are starving to death.

Read also: The devastating cause of the massive seal death revealed

Either way, the work went on and on.

In an effort to save our pristine coastline, PTWC released a second video to show and tell the world exactly what’s going on.

“The reality is that this region is under siege by a host of multinational mining companies that appear to have the unequivocal support of the South African government. These companies have been allowed to rampage along this coast without dispute, mainly because it is mostly uninhabited and there are few premises to push back, ”explains the group.

The video, which focuses on the effects of these projects on residents, completely questions this and gives a voice to the minority.

“If things continue without proper commitment and oversight from the South African people, then the West Coast will become a great mining dumping ground and we cannot allow this to happen for our sake and that of future generations. “

LOOK: Ours not mine (trailer).

* Directed by Bryan Little and produced by Ana-Filipa Domingues, the film aims to shed light on destructive mining practices and their impact on local communities and the environment.

The full version of the film will premiere on Saturday, November 20 at 7 p.m. at the Jack Black Taproom, Cape Town.

Despite the short-term job creation, mining negatively affects ecosystems and has a negative ripple effect on the West Coast environment, economy and society in general.

The risks associated with the proposed mining activities are as follows:

  • Disturbance and destruction of marine life on mined beaches.
  • Destabilization of fisheries and fishing communities.
  • Impacts on already scarce water resources.
  • Air pollution.
  • Increased road and traffic footprint.
  • Visual impacts on the local population and tourism.
  • Loss of access to beaches and coastline for recreational activities such as surfing and fishing
  • Damage to the fragile dune system, which has evolved over millions of years as part of the natural interface between land and sea.
  • Alteration of the natural profile of the beach, and its dynamic balance with wave energy.
  • Ripple impacts on terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Loss of archaeological resources and fossils.
  • Loss of indigenous heritage sites.

The Protect the West Coast team have worked tirelessly to expose the ‘behind the scenes’ of what could be South Africa’s most terrifying horror reality. And those who oppose the gutting of the coast have every right to do so.

Article 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, states:

Everyone has the right to an environment which is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, by reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote the conservation and ensure the ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

What you can do:

1. Make a donation

Donations allow PTWC to support community initiatives that actively work to protect South Africa’s west coast from mining activities. Click on HERE make a donation.

2. Volunteering

Some things you can suggest doing include organizing a community conversation, collecting signatures, fundraising, starting a local group. Click on HERE to complete a survey of volunteers.

3. Be social

Let your friends and family know what’s at stake. Share this post, video and follow PTWC and their the partners on social networks.

This is a developing story.

Read also:

Shell reportedly set to explode wild coast oceans in search of oil and gas

Photo: Ours not mine Screenshot

Gladys T. Hensley