On this World Environment Day, SA Smallholder would like to acknowledge the wonderful work done by environmental organisations.
A recent victory scored by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) and groundWork is particularly worth noting. Due to a legal challenge by these groups, approval for another new coal-fired power station has been set aside by the Pretoria High Court. The planned 600MW Khanyisa coal-fired power station would have been built on the outskirts of Emalahleni. This area is already overwhelmed by toxic air pollution.
According to CER, stopping the Khanyisa coal power station project means that:
- 75,9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent climate changing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will never be emitted into the atmosphere;
- significant air pollution that would have harmed the lives and health of residents of the already severely polluted eMalahleni area has been avoided;
- the pollution from the proposed toxic coal ash dump, the size of 140ha, will never leak into the Olifants Catchment, and negatively impact the important water source and livelihood for 4.2 million people;
- the South African public has been spared from unnecessary expenditure of R73 billion.
World Environment Day 2021 Theme
The theme for World Environment Day 2021 is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
Smallholders know that we cannot turn back time. But we can grow trees and rewild parts of our gardens and fields. We can get rid of alien invasives. We can change our diets and consumer habits. Clean up rivers and coasts. Examine the ecosystems on our properties and consider how we can support and rehabilitate them.
Now is the time to get active, not anxious.