Moratorium placed on sand and gravel extraction

07 November 2019 | Local News

Yolanda Nel A moratorium should be placed on the consideration of new applications for sand and gravel
extraction in Groot Aub, according to a recommendation by City Council at their most recent
“Despite a multitude of regulatory policies and statues that govern sand and mineral mining,
proponents have often failed to conform to licensing requirements,” council documents read. It also
states that several mining sites remain poorly rehabilitated, presenting compliance and
environmental risks.
With Groot Aub being placed under the City of Windhoek jurisdiction in September 2011, it is
Council’s responsibility to promote sustainable development by ensuring the conservation of natural
resources. Since the inception of the policy towards sustainable sand mining in September 2017, the
CoW has faced a number of enforcement issues in relation to the control of sand mining proponents.
One of the biggest challenges is the registration of licensed operators. Despite efforts by the City to
raise awareness about the policy, only one operator has registered with the CoW, while six sand
mining operators are purported to be in Groot Aub. Even a familiarisation visit of Groot Aub in May
this year saw only three sand mining operations attend.
Other challenges include a lack of data on the availability of resources, rehabilitation and the
implications of future land use.
The moratorium will serve to halt the processing of new applications and the establishment of new
sand mining sites. “Operators with proven track records in sand or mineral mining and in possession
of a valid permit or Environmental Management Clearance Certificate, which is issued prior to
effecting the moratorium, will not be affected by the moratorium and will continue to be considered
for approval.