By Lindy Wilson DA Constituency Head Phalaborwa, Maruleng and Tzaneen:
Recently, after DA oversight uncovered illegal sand mining along the Karongwe River in Maruleng, Limpopo, illegal miners were caught in the act when the Department of Water Affairs officials were deployed to investigate.
The river falls within the Kruger to Canyon Biosphere, a recognized Unesco protected area.
This act of the DA uncovering illegal activity led to the department of water affairs swoop on the area. Although the suspects fled into the bushveld surrounding the area, they abandoned their vehicles which allowed them to be identified and the vehicle owners have been charged with illegal mining.
We are grateful for the swift reaction and for addressing this situation by the department after the DA tip-off. They have given us their assurance that they will continue with regular patrols of the river system in the area, and will also investigate claims that similar illegal acts are taking place on the Selati River and systems around Phalaborwa.
Protection of Water and Environmental systems are important in the protection of wildlife, ecological balances and prevention of water contamination, that many communities have to rely on.