My husband, family and I wish to submit the strongest possible objection to the application to open an opencast strip mine operation in the Imfolozi Wilderness Reserve. The idea of desecrating an animal sanctuary and wilderness area which has become an exceptionally important and unique educational and environmental institution is abhorrent and totally unacceptable in the extreme. Quite apart from ruining a vital educational sector, this would lead to unacceptably high explosions which would reverberate over many mines due to regular blasting, high environmental issues including water contamination (acid mine drainage which would lead into the Umgeni), dust and trace element pollution from the coal mined in that area, untoward stripping of pristine land which would be flattened with unsightly discard dumps emitting smoke and particulate emissions, and the transport of such coal products would mean multiple heavy road trucks which would ruin the roads in the vicinity (as they have in Mpumalanga) and these would contribute additional air pollution from the diesel and petrol fumes they emit to say nothing of increasing the traffic in the area.
The mining of coal is a dirty and unsightly practice and should under NO circumstances be allowed anywhere near a wilderness sanctuary. Please accept this strongest possible objection from people who are well aware of the vagaries and problems related to coal mining.
Rosemary and Lionel Falcon
Professor R Falcon & L Falcon, retired Consulting Engineer,
University of the Witwatersrand