Mine or Wine?
Trouble brews in South Africa (SA) as permission is granted for sand mining in wine producing regions endangering both the wine and tourism industries. SA regularly features among the top ten wine producing countries in the world. Industry professionals say that this move undermines 20 years’ worth of work to establish the region as a prized winemaking region.
Winemakers in SA have been campaigning to stop mining in general within the region. Not only is it disastrous for the local environment, but also many jobs are at stake as the wine industry employs more people in the western cape than any other industry.
As for sand mining in particular, uncontrolled, illegal sand mining has increased dramatically since 2010. The Environmental compliance and enforcement Director of Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Dr.Eshaam Palmer says that illegal sand mining is a significant part of the $200-billion global environmental crime challenge in South Africa. Environmental criminals are also often part of global syndicates that are involved in other major crimes, such as drug smuggling, illicit arms smuggling and human trafficking. Read more.