The legacy of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) has reached a critical stage in the country, whereby inaction is no longer an option. The issues, constraints and opportunities around mine water, specifically in the Witbank Coalfields, were identified and a strategy was required on how to take the information forward. The Strategic Water Partners Network contracted us to co-develop a solution to the mine-water challenge.
Understanding the root causes of the AMD challenge was key to finding pragmatic solutions. The response to the challenge to mitigate the problem, required a combination of collaborative planning, regulation, governance, treatment and mitigation approaches that enable the expected remaining 20-year operational life of the coalfields to implement sustainable long-term solutions to the water quality problems and liabilities. Our approach required getting the relevant key actors in the catchment to support the development of the solution to establish a Mine Water Coordinating Body, that would comprise of partners from government, private sector and civil society. The Strategic Water Partners Network has since built capacity to support the establishment of the Mine Water Coordinating Body and is in the process of developing a Memorandum of Understanding between key partners.