South Africa

Shell publishes Karoo groundwater atlas

Shell South Africa recently released stage one of a Karoo groundwater atlas in what is arguably a step by the company to bolster support for its plans to explore for shale gas in the Karoo by means of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Soya bean and maize yields wither in drought

Most parts of the summer grain production region of South Africa received between 20% and 30% less rain in the 2011/12 season than the 2010/11 season.

Dry spell puts the brakes on original maize yield estimates

A February/March dry spell over much of South Africa’s summer grains production area has forced the Crop Estimates Committee to drop the total maize estimate by 399 800 tons to 11 305 550 tons.

SA farmers in Congo “miracle workers”

South African farmers in the Congo have been dubbed miracle workers by the Congolese government for the transformation of 1000ha of jungle into maize fields in just three months.

Feeding the hungry could benefit the wheat and bread industry

Some 20% of South African households are food insecure with inadequate access to food.

Co-op workers strike

Weeks of wage negotiations between eight agricultural companies and co-operatives and their employees have failed for six of them.

Labour law amendments hinder employment

Stricter labour laws will result in further job losses, according to industry experts.

Government warms to shale gas exploration

The Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG), the civil society organisation leading the fight against plans to explore for shale gas in the Karoo, has not taken kindly to the National Planning Commission’s (NPC) support for hydraulic fracturing.

Verlorenvlei mining halted, for now

Prospecting work for, amongst other, tungsten, molybdenum and rare earths, on a farm in the Moutonshoek Valley, by Bongani Minerals has been halted after the Western Cape High Court recently granted an interdict brought by the Bergrivier Municipality to halt the drilling.

Timber industry very concerned about AARTO implications

The South African timber industry is concerned that proposed road traffic legislation together with the requirements of its associated Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act will threaten the industry’s functioning and profitability.

Drought – price drop

Sporadic drought and the retail industry’s reluctance to pass on lower prices to the consumer caused a serious red meat price drop. It is feared that farmers will be forced off their farms if prices do not pick up soon.

Mine admits guilt and coughs up for farmer

A Mpumalanga farmer has triumphed over a coal mine in a case that has set a legal precedent for mines who don’t comply with the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

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