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groundWork is a non-profit environmental justice service and developmental organization working primarily in Southern Africa in the areas of Climate & Energy Justice, Coal, Environmental Health, Global Green and Healthy Hospitals, and Waste.

SOME OF OUR LATEST NEWS

FRACKING SCOPING APPLICATIONS PROLIFERATE

Fracking exploration impacts

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 15th June 2016 - It is apparent that despite opposition to the use of fracking technology and the exploitation of new fossil fuel reserves, the process leading to the possible commercial implementation of fracking in South Africa continues to gather momentum.

For an update, read the newsletter from our friends at FrackFree South Africa here.

GROUNDWORK CELEBRATES WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY WITH ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE SCHOOL

Participants at groundWork's 2016 Environmental Justice School

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 2 June 2016 – As World Environment Day is celebrated across the globe on Sunday, 5th June, groundWork will kick off its third annual Environmental Justice School. The school aims to build a cadre of informed environmental justice activists who will contribute towards the mobilization, resistance and transformation to a just society.

Twenty activists from South Africa, Mozambique and Kenya will for an intensive three weeks be engaged on issues of development, environmental legislation in South Africa and campaigning in areas of climate, energy, air quality, waste, water, land and food.

Read the full media advisory here.

SAFETY OF WORKERS IN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AT RISK

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 31 May 2016 – A recently released international report on chemical safety has indicated that in South Africa 25% of domestic market chemical companies do not provide their employees with chemical safety training. This comes at a time when the global chemical industry enters into annual general meetings with shareholders.

In 2015, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation together with groundWork and nine other collaborative partners carried out two sets of polls on chemical safety issues addressing consumer opinions in 14 cities (in 10 countries) and company opinions in 10 countries. In South Africa, the city of Durban was involved in the poll.

Read the full media advisory here.

DMR IS SUCKING SOUTH AFRICA’S ‘WATER FACTORIES’ DRY

Zero Hour cover

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 23 May 2016 – The Centre for Environmental Rights’ latest report Zero Hour: Poor Governance of Mining and the Violation of Environmental Rights in Mpumalanga [1], has found that the Department of Minerals Resources (DMR) has placed South Africa’s strategic water source areas at serious risk of endemic contamination. This while the country remains slave to the worst drought it has experienced in 30 years.

Last week, the International Federation of Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) pledged $110 million to a new initiative to help drought-stricken Southern African countries, including South Africa.

Despite Mpumalanga containing areas of hydrological significance, which are critical for the country’s supply of potable water, the DMR has continued to grant mining and water use rights in these areas, particularly for coal developments. While the mining industry uses up and pollutes this water the people of South Africa are at risk of not having access to clean water.

Read the full media advisory here.

NGOS SEEK ESKOM’S PLANS FOR COMPLYING WITH AIR QUALITY STANDARDS

Cape Town, South Africa, 18 May 2016 – In late February 2015, despite intense civil society opposition, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ National Air Quality Officer largely approved Eskom’s applications to postpone compliance with the air pollution minimum emission standards that applied from 1 April 2015. These standards were then incorporated into Eskom’s licences.

Despite the reprieve granted to Eskom, even the postponed compliance with the air emission standards means that Eskom must act now to ensure that it has the relevant funds and approvals in place in time to start installation of the equipment necessary to limit the air pollution from its coal-fired power stations.

Read the full media advisory here.

 

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