Mine spillage pollutes Kruger Park river

2014-01-06 17:57

Polluted water has spilled into the Selati River near the Phalaborwa entrance to the Kruger National Park, SA National Parks (SANParks) has said.

“Heavy rains in Phalaborwa over the weekend of 28-29 December 2013 contributed to the overflow of the tailings dam,” SANParks spokesman Ike Phaahla said in a statement today.

This resulted in highly acidic water flowing into the Selati River, he said.

“The Selati River is an important tributary of the Olifants River, arguably the most environmentally stressed major river system in South Africa and an important shared watercourse with Mozambique.”

Phaahla said the spillage, which was from a tailings dam at the Bosveld Phosphate mining operation in the area, was being investigated. Other affected rivers were being monitored, he said.

The water inside the KNP’s tourist camps was unaffected.

“SANParks took immediate precautions to ensure safe water supply to tourist camps in the park.

“Currently those camps dependent on water from the Olifants River have been switched onto back-up borehole water, with associated water use restrictions to ensure that the water demand can be met,” Phaahla said.

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