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SECOND DOCUMENT AUGUST 2004

EIA SCOPING PHASE

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA) (12/12/20/553) FOR CONSTRUCTION OF PROPOSED INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP)

Proponent: Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

For comment by Friday 17 September 2004

Report issued 20 August 2004 by EIA Consultants Acer (Africa) / CSIR / Zitholele/Golder

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

PURPOSE OF THE DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is currently undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment to investigate whether the construction of a large storage dam in the Steelpoort River plus associated National Bulk Water Infrastructure (pipelines, pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs) in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces of South Africa would be environmentally feasible. The Environmental Impact Assessment is being undertaken by ACER (Africa) Environmental Management Consultants and the CSIR Environmentek (technical aspects) with Zitholele Consulting and Golder Associates Africa (public participation aspects). The EIA is being undertaken according to Regulations (R1182 (as amended), R1183 (as amended), R1184 and R448) published under the Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989). The EIA process is described in the EIA Guideline document in terms of these Regulations. Copies of the EIA Guidelines are available from the Public Participation Office. An Environmental Impact Assessment must show the authorities and the proponent what the consequences of their decisions will be in environmental, economic and social terms. A key phase of an Environmental Impact Assessment is Scoping. This is the phase during which public issues and concerns should be identified in order that technical specialists can evaluate them during the next phase of the Environmental Impact Assessment, viz. the Impact Assessment Phase. In accordance with the Regulations of the Environment Conservation Act, Interested and Affected Parties (members of the public, the development proponent, technical specialists and the authorities) must have the opportunity to verify that all the issues they raised during Scoping have been captured, understood, interpreted and contextualised. This is the main purpose of the Draft Scoping Report and its Summary Report that will be available for comment from Monday 23 August 2004 to Friday 17 September 2004. After the public comment period, a Final Scoping Report will be submitted to the lead environmental authority, the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) who, in close collaboration with the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture and Land Administration and the Limpopo 1 Department of Finance and Economic Development , will consider the findings. DEAT will thereafter, in consultation with the environmental authorities of the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces, consider the scope to be covered by Specialist Studies, after which the studies will proceed.

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Environmental Affairs is housed within these Departments.

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FAST TRACK PROJECT AND CHANGING INFORMATION

President Thabo Mbeki announced the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project in his address at the opening of Parliament in February 2003. The project configuration currently under consideration was confirmed by the South African Cabinet in early June 2004, and announced to the country on 9 June 2004. From the outset, the project has been fast tracked because of the urgency with which water needs to be made available to the mining sector and local communities. There are two major implications of fast tracking a project of this nature:

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Information may not be available or available in the detail that one would like at any given time Information is likely to change over time.

It is important for Interested and Affected Parties to understand that, within this context, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and its environmental consultants are committed to undertaking the Environmental Impact Assessment in an open, objective and transparent manner. In this regard, Interested and Affected Parties will be informed of new or changed information as and when it becomes available.

YOUR COMMENT ON THE DRAFT SCOPING REPORT AND ITS SUMMARY

The Draft Scoping Report and/or its Summary have been distributed to everyone that requested a copy in response to a letter in August 2004 announcing the availability of the reports for comment. Copies of the full report have also been made available at strategic public places in the project area (see page iv) and are available on the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry web site (www.dwaf.gov.za). The following methods of public review of the Draft Scoping Report and its Summary are available: · · · · Completing the comment sheet enclosed with the reports Additional written submissions Comment by email, fax or telephone Comment during four public meetings/open houses to discuss the contents of the Draft Scoping Report, as follows: Times Dates Tuesday, 24 August 2004 Wednesday, 25 August 2004 Wednesday, 1 September 2004 Thursday, 2 September 2004 Venues The Park Hotel, Mokopane The Golden Pillow Hotel, Polokwane Civic Centre Hall, Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality, Lebowakgomo The Municipal Chamber, Greater Tubatse Municipality, Burgersfort Open house 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00 09:30 ­ 13:00 09:30 ­ 13:00 09:30 ­ 13:00 Public meeting 09:30 ­ 13:00

DUE DATE FOR COMMENT

Friday 17 September 2004, to the public participation office below Toni Pietersen or Qondi Sibiya Zitholele Consulting / Golder Associates P O Box 95823 WATERKLOOF, 0145 Tel: (012) 361 0082 Fax: (012) 361 0083 Email: [email protected]

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

PUBLIC PLACES WHERE A FULL VERSION OF THE DRAFT SCOPING REPORT IS AVAILABLE

LIMPOPO PROVINCE

TOWN/AREA/DISTRICT

Burgersfort area, Driekop Burgersfort area, Mecklemburg Burgersfort area, Taung Fetakgomo area, Apel Hoedspruit Jane Furse area, Glen Cowie Jane Furse area, Makhuduthamanga Jane Furse area, Makhuduthamaga Jane Furse area, Makhuduthamaga Jane Furse area, Marulaneng Jane Furse area, Sekhukhune Jane Furse area, Sekhukhune Jane Furse area, Sekwati Jane Furse area, Sekwati Lebowakgomo area, Atok Lebowakgomo Mokopane area, Mogalakwena Mokopane area, Potgietersrus Mokopane aera, Potgietersrus Mookgophong Olifantspoort area, Nebo Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane area, Seshego Tzaneen area, Letsitele

LOCALITY

Dilokong Satellite Office Mecklemburg Hospital Taung Clinic Fetakgomo Mini Library Agri Hoedspruit Phokwane Clinic Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality Makhuduthamaga District Clinic Sekhukhune Educare Projects (SEP) Marulaneng Clinic Schoornoot Clinic Department Local Govt and Housing Mamone Clinic Mamone Care Group Lebowa Platinum Mine Limpopo Economic Development Enterprise Mogalakwena Municipality South African Post Office Protea Park Hotel Mookgophong Local Municipality Library Klipspruit Clinic Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Polokwane Municipality Bokamoso High School South African Post Office Polokwane Municipality Clinic Seshego Community Library Agri Letaba

CONTACT PERSON

Mr Lukas Molapo Matron Phala Ms Enicca Mogose Mr Magamorele Hlakudi Mnr Braam van der Merwe Sister Maki Ramasehla Mr Maserumule Matlala Ms Judith Mmantshidi Mrs Emily Magaba Sister Sarah Motubatse Sister Johanna Mohlala Mrs Martha Ngoane Sister Selinah Sedibane Mrs Joyce Selala Mr Robbie Nelson Ms Josephine Tambane Mrs Esther Pretorius Mr Joseph Maledimo Mr Simon Sutherland Mrs Estelle Owen Sister Clara Boshiela Ms Sarah Mamabolo Mr Koot Jacobs Mrs Melita Mogashoa Ms Gladys Mooki Ms Sarie Potgieter Mr Stephens Chipana Mr Louis van Rooyen

TELEPHONE

(015) 619 0150 (015) 619 5080 072 532 0329 (015) 622 8000 (015) 795 5861 (013) 264 0113 (013) 265 1177 (013) 265 1000 (013) 265 1350/1 073 356 6740 (013) 260 1032 (013) 260 1776 (013) 219 7216 084 751 6675 (015) 620 0020 (015) 633 5660 (015) 491 9739/ 9600 (015) 491 4141 (015) 491 3101 (015) 743 1111 (013) 263 1177 (015) 290 1444 (015) 290 2151 (015) 223 6888 (015) 292 0049 (015) 290 2360 (015) 223 0864/ 0862 (015) 345 1817

MPUMALANGA PROVINCE

TOWN/AREA/DISTRICT

Burgersfort Burgersfort Burgersfor area, Driekop Burgersfort area, Lebalelo Groblersdal area, Elandsdoorn Groblersdal Groblersdal Jane Furse area, Ga-Marishane Jane Furse area, Sekhukhune Marble Hall area, Elandskraal Marble Hall Nelspruit Roossenekal Roossenekal Steelpoort

LOCALITY

Burgersfort Clinic

CONTACT PERSON

Mrs Cecilia Nchabeleng Ms Sheila Nkonyane Kgosi Solomon Mashishi Mr Malcolm Sales Ms Marianne Moller Mrs Judy du Plessis Mr Aaron Tlaka Mr Solomon Tjatji Mr Sunset Mmushi Mr S.N Sithomela Ms Refilwe Boroko Mr Johan van Aswegen Mrs Mirriam Khumalo Ms Jana Spangler Ms Frieda Teffo

TELEPHONE

(013) 231 7843 (013) 231 7815 (013) 214 7114 (013) 216 3101 (013) 980 0014 (013) 262 3056 (013) 264 9403 (013) 219 7008 072 721 8244 (013) 268 9300 (013) 261 1151 (013) 759 7304 (013) 273 0009 013) 273 0056 (013) 230 9105

GREATER TUBATSE MUNICIPALITY

Roka-Mashishi Tribal Authority Lebalelo Water User Association Elandsdoorn Clinic Groblersdal Public Library Ikageng Development Forum Phakgamang Community Resource Centre Tshehla Trust Office Tompi Seleka Agricultural College Marble Hall Library Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Roossenekal Post Office Roossenekal Public Library Steelpoort Post Office

Appreciation for participation by Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs)

Many I&APs have participated actively during the EIA process to date by attending meetings, and by taking the time to prepare written submissions. I&APs contributed considerable local knowledge, and contributed information on previous studies done in the area. Many also hosted members of the EIA team in their homes or offices, and showed them around the area. The EIA team wishes to express sincere appreciation for these efforts by I&APs.

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SUMMARY

Water requirements in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa are expected to increase significantly due to the expansion of current activities as well as new and proposed developments in the region, particularly in the mining sector. The purpose and need for the proposed project are, therefore, to provide physical infrastructure (a storage dam and associated bulk transfer pipelines and pump stations) that will enable the reallocation of water to meet current and future water needs of all sectors within the middle parts of the Olifants River catchment, as well as parts of the Mogalakwena/Sand catchments. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has previously undertaken investigations to identify options to supply water from the middle parts of the Olifants and Steelpoort Rivers for various alternative purposes and, thus, commissioned a final Screening Phase, from January to March 2004, to review the range of possible alternative developments previously identified in order to identify the most feasible configuration to meet the new demand. These results are documented in a Screening Report that is available form the Public Participation Office (contact details are provided on page iii). Briefly, the Screening Phase reviewed the following options: two new proposed dams at the farm Rooipoort (Olifants River) and the farm De Hoop (Steelpoort River), a possible dam at Groenvley on the Sterk River (a tributary of the Mogalakwena River), and a possible dam on the Phalala River; the possible purchase or lease of water rights from irrigation areas; water demand/conservation measures and developing local groundwater resources to supply communities on the Nebo Plateau. Following the integration of technical, economic and environmental information and assessments, the preferred infrastructural development option was identified as the construction of a proposed dam on the Steelpoort River at the farm De Hoop (hereinafter called the De Hoop Dam) (including the realignment of the R555 between Steelpoort and Stoffberg); construction of a pipeline (and appurtenant works such as pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs) from the De Hoop Dam along the R37 (between Burgersfort and Lebowakgomo) past Atok Mine to the Olifantspoort Weir; construction of a branch pipeline (and appurtenant works) to Jane Furse; and the construction of a pipeline (and appurtenant works) from Flag Boshielo Dam to Mokopane. The planned bulk distribution system will interconnect Flag Boshielo and De Hoop Dams, to enable the supply of water to all users at a higher level of assurance, through the operation of a single system. Water rights/allocations will not be cancelled, but will be reallocated to a different source (such as the current Lebalelo allocations from Flag Boshielo Dam that, in future, will be supplied from De Hoop Dam). This will not make additional water available, but will better distribute the water to all users from both sources. In terms of the Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989) and its Regulations, authorisation is required for the project from the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, in consultation with the provincial departments responsible for environmental affairs. The environmental assessment process consists of a number of phases, four main ones of which are Scoping (the identification of issues), Impact Assessment (specialist studies on potential impacts), Environmental Impact Report (integration of the specialist findings) and Decision-making (Authorities issue a Record of Decision in regard to the project). The EIA for the proposed De Hoop Dam and associated Bulk Water Infrastructure is currently in the Scoping Phase. Authorisation is also required from the Department of Minerals and Energy to utilise various quarry and borrow sites. This authorisation process is running concurrently with the environmental authorisation process. It is important to note that transmission lines required for the pump stations do not form part of this assessment as these are being dealt with separately by Eskom. Similarly, compensation, resettlement and servitude negotiations arising from the proposed infrastructure do not form part of the brief of the EIA Team

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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as these aspects are being dealt with directly by a dedicated team within the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The environmental assessment is being undertaken broadly within applicable principles arising from the World Commission on Dams; the concept of sustainability which considers the ecological, social and economic dimensions of the environment; international considerations; and national legislative requirements. Thus, a number of investigations are being undertaken by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, which are not part of the formal or legal environmental authorisation process but will be required for the Environmental Impact Report. These studies are: Water conservation and demand management assessments; Cost-benefit analysis/Macro-Economic assessment; Water trading investigations and a Regional Economic Assessment; Attention to international protocols and agreements; and Implementation of the Reserve. These matters will be addressed to the extent that they inform decision-making for the current project proposal. Section 4 of this report provides an overview of the environment in which the project will occur. Importantly, the socio-economic conditions, the potential for economic improvement and the biophysical characteristics are highlighted. Section 5 highlights the public participation and technical processes that have occurred during Scoping and outlines the approach and methodology for this assessment. Many issues and potential impacts have been identified during Scoping. These are listed in Appendix 1 of this report. Following analysis of the issues, the study team has identified six key issues that will require further in-depth investigation during the Impact Assessment. These key issues are as follows:

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Impact on the quantity and quality of river flows.

River systems are interlinked and the construction of a new dam on the Steelpoort River potentially will impact upon the quantity and quality (reduced flows can result in higher concentrations of pollutants) of water flowing in the Olifants River. The primary issue of concern is that of sustainable water resource use that is fundamental to the entire proposed ORWRDP. This issue is complicated. Firstly, the Reserve for the Olifants River has been determined but is not yet fully implemented. Implementation is difficult as older dams cannot physically release the water required and cannot simply be redesigned. Thus, the Reserve requirements will need to be met primarily by water reallocations from other users. Mechanisms for effective water allocation and licensing still need to be developed and implemented. Stakeholders see the Reserve as the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's commitment to manage the river for all users of the river according to an agreed standard. Although the proposed De Hoop Dam will be able to meet the Reserve requirements for the Steelpoort River down to its confluence with the Olifants River, the proposed dam will make it more difficult for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to meet the Reserve requirements of the lower Olifants River that are important for the whole river system. This is particularly important in terms of South Africa's international commitment to Mozambique and to biodiversity conservation, practically in this case, minimising the impact on the downstream Kruger National Park. However, it should be noted that the proposed De Hoop Dam would regulate only a portion of the Steelpoort catchment. The remainder of the catchment, therefore, remains unregulated and, excluding run of river abstractions, can contribute to the Reserve, including water requirements of the Kruger National Park. Secondly, the new mining developments, in conjunction with the reduced river flows, may place the water quality and health of the river ecosystem under more stress. This project needs to recognise that although additional water resources may enable the mining sector to expand, the long-term impacts of mining on water quality need to be understood and addressed.

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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With regard to downstream impacts, it is also important to recognise that the Kruger National Park and other downstream users also make significant contributions to the national economy. Indeed, the Kruger National Park is a current major economic driver in this part of the country. These benefits must also be recognised and care should be taken to avoid or minimise one sector of society paying for the benefits of another.

q

Impact on the aquatic and terrestrial ecology, particularly that of the proposed dam site.

The proposed De Hoop Dam is located within the Sekhukhune Centre of Plant Endemism, which is characterised by the presence of several endemic species of plants that, it is believed, are found nowhere else on earth. However, these plants are often located on the crests of mountains whilst most of the vegetation along the bottom of the river valley consists of patches of natural bushveld vegetation (dominated by Acacia galpinii species), interspersed with small areas of cultivation, and is also characterised by the presence of many alien invasive plant species. Two species of small minnows, Barbus brevipinnis (Shortfin Barb) and Barbus neefi (Sidespot Barb) are restricted to the Steelpoort and lower Olifants Rivers. The construction of the proposed dam will halt fish movements on either side of the dam wall and will result in `confined' populations in the reaches upstream of the dam site. The significance if this impact will need to be investigated.

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Impact on long-term sustainability of water supply and water demand management.

The aim of the project proposed by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is to develop additional resources from which water can be abstracted for a variety of purposes (as indicated in the purpose and need statement). The Olifants River Water Management Area, as well as the Sand and Mogalakwena River Catchments, are already heavily utilised and the ability of these catchment environments to support additional supply-side solutions to meet water demand requirements is diminishing and cannot be considered sustainable in the long-term. Water conservation and demand management are key aspects previously often neglected in South Africa. As part of this overall water resource development project, increased attention needs to be paid to the implementation of effective water saving and reuse techniques within the middle parts of the Olifants Region. Water use efficiencies must be improved in towns and urban areas, irrigation agriculture and in mining operations. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry should take the lead in initiating this focus by supplying the technical guidance and facilitating funding as part of its responsibility for National Water Resources Management. Essentially, the true cost of water needs to be realised by the sector that uses it in order for a sustainable balance to be achieved.

q

Impact on Integrated Development Planning within the project area.

This issue has a number of aspects. Firstly, the construction of a dam and increased mining will result in an increase in temporary job seekers as well as the establishment of longer-term businesses and support service providers. The social services of the area, in terms of health, waste disposal, schooling, housing, security and welfare will need to accommodate this influx of people and will require proper planning and service provision in order to minimise potential biophysical and social impacts that this influx may have on the region. Furthermore, the impact that this influx of people may have on the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the area, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on the social services and dam construction programme need to be considered. Secondly, the sustainability of the economic boom in the region must be considered by both the project proponent and the local authorities. Mining is not a long-term activity, but is usually a middle-term economic activity that, once completed, will provide no further economic benefit to an area. There is the potential for

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developing towns to be left with little economic base in a few decades and these impacts should be minimised as far as possible. Thirdly, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is responsible for the provision of bulk water, not for distributing treated water to local residents. This is the function and responsibility of local municipalities. Unfortunately, there are several capacity and financial constraints that often prevent municipalities from distributing water. For social, health and political reasons some assistance needs to be provided to the municipalities to manage and overcome these problems. However, provided there is adequate and co-ordinated planning and development, the overall impact of the proposed project could be positive in terms of the social, socio-economic and economic development of the wider study area, particularly in so far as the proposed development intervention contributes to the development of social infrastructure and services on a regional scale.

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Construction related impacts.

The key construction impacts relate to the loss of terrestrial habitat, most of it on a permanent basis, and disruptions to aquatic ecosystems at the wall site and downstream for some distance. While these can be managed and mitigated, the affects are real. Furthermore, during construction, there are a range of potential impacts, including an influx of people and related social problems (for example, informal housing and inadequate services) and anti-social behaviour (for example, prostitution, and crime), increased road traffic, including heavy construction vehicles, dust and noise for nearby landowners, including many communities living adjacent to pipeline routes, and the loss of Tshehla Trust Land at the dam wall. However, on a positive note, the proposed construction of the De Hoop Dam and associated National Bulk Water Infrastructure will create significant employment opportunities, directly associated with construction activities, secondarily in the provision of goods and services, and, also, within the mining and industrial sectors through the use of water provided from the bulk infrastructure. The proposed project is also expected to result in the economic stimulation of the region.

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Impacts related to compensation and resettlement.

Compensation will be required for those landowners within the dam basin and for those with infrastructure affected by the construction of the pipelines. This will require significant administration and negotiation in order not to delay progress. Section 7 describes the process to be followed to better understand the issues and potential impacts that have been identified. The broad scopes of work for Specialist Studies are also provided. The current Environmental Impact Assessment Programme aims to complete Scoping by end-September 2004, with the Specialist Studies being conducted from October to December 2004. The draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report is scheduled for public review during March 2005 and, thereafter, it will be finalised for submission to the Authorities. A Record of Decision from the Authorities is anticipated by June 2005, which, if positive, would enable the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to commence construction during the second half of 2005.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................................................1 1.1 Background ...................................................................................................................................................1 1.2 Environmental authorisation process ............................................................................................................3 1.3 Requirements of the Department of Minerals and Energy.............................................................................3 1.4 Other Activities and Investigations feeding into the EIA ................................................................................4 1.5 The Environmental Impact Assessment Team..............................................................................................4 1.6 The Assessing and Commenting Authorities.................................................................................................4 1.7 Draft Scoping Report.....................................................................................................................................4 FRAMEWORK FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT .......................................................................................5 2.1 Concept of sustainability ...............................................................................................................................5 2.2 World Commission on Dams.........................................................................................................................5 2.3 International Considerations..........................................................................................................................8 2.4 Legal/statutory Requirements .......................................................................................................................9 2.5 Non-regulatory Activities .............................................................................................................................11 DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT INFRASTRUCTURE .............................................................................................11 DESCRIPTION OF THE AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT .........................................................................................15 4.1 International context ....................................................................................................................................15 4.2 Regional context .........................................................................................................................................16 4.2.1 Local towns in the study area......................................................................................................................16 4.3 Anticipated economic development.............................................................................................................16 4.3.1 Mining and industrial sectors.......................................................................................................................17 4.3.2 Irrigation ..................................................................................................................................18 4.3.3 Domestic use ..................................................................................................................................18 4.4 Social and Socio-economic Characteristics ................................................................................................18 4.4.1 Demography ..................................................................................................................................18 4.4.2 Socio-economic status ................................................................................................................................19 4.4.3 Land use activities ..................................................................................................................................19 4.4.4 Ecotourism ..................................................................................................................................20 4.4.5 Facilities and services .................................................................................................................................20 4.5 Biophysical Characteristics .........................................................................................................................21 4.5.1 Climate ..................................................................................................................................21 4.5.2 Topography ..................................................................................................................................21 4.5.3 Soils and geology ..................................................................................................................................21 4.5.4 Hydrology ..................................................................................................................................22 4.5.4.1 Surface water .....................................................................................................................22 4.5.4.2 Groundwater.......................................................................................................................23 4.5.5 The Reserve ..................................................................................................................................23 4.5.6 Biodiversity ..................................................................................................................................24 4.5.6.1 Sekhukhune Centre of Plant Endemism.............................................................................25 4.5.7 Cultural Heritage Resources .......................................................................................................................25 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCESS .....................................................................................25 5.1 Public Participation Process........................................................................................................................26 5.1.1 Objectives of public participation in an EIA .................................................................................................26 5.1.2 Identification of Interested and Affected Parties ..........................................................................................28 5.1.3 Announcement of opportunity to become involved......................................................................................28 5.1.4 Obtaining comment and contributions.........................................................................................................29 5.1.5 Parallel stakeholder liaison by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.............................................30 5.1.6 Issues and Response Report and acknowledgements ...............................................................................30 5.1.7 Draft Scoping Report ..................................................................................................................................30 5.1.8 Public meetings ..................................................................................................................................32 5.1.9 Final Scoping Report ..................................................................................................................................34 5.1.10 Public participation during the Impact Assessment .....................................................................................34 5.2 Technical Scoping Process .........................................................................................................................34 5.2.1 Information gathering ..................................................................................................................................34 5.2.2 Assessment and collation of information.....................................................................................................35 5.2.3 Evaluation and prioritisation of issues and impacts.....................................................................................35 DESCRIPTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND POTENTIAL IMPACTS....................................................35 6.1 Discussion of Key Issues ............................................................................................................................36

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2.

3. 4.

5.

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT 6.1.1 6.1.2 6.1.3 6.1.4 6.1.5 6.1.6 6.2 7.

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

Impact on the quantity and quality of river flows ..........................................................................................36 Aquatic and terrestrial ecology ....................................................................................................................37 Long-term sustainability and water demand management ..........................................................................38 Integrated Development Planning within the project area ...........................................................................39 Minimising construction related impacts ......................................................................................................40 Compensation and resettlement..................................................................................................................41 Other Issues ................................................................................................................................................42

OVERARCHING SCOPE OF THE SPECIALIST STUDIES...................................................................................42 7.1 Specialist Studies ........................................................................................................................................42 7.1.1 Borrow area investigations ..........................................................................................................................45 7.2 Integration and impact description...............................................................................................................45 7.3 Programme..................................................................................................................................................45 REFERENCES .......................................................................................................................................................47 PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS .........................................................................................................................47

8. 9.

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 7. Figure 8. Figure 9. Map showing proposed project infrastructure............................................................................................... 2 The four principal phases of an Environmental Impact Assessment. ........................................................... 3 Inter-related dimensions of sustainability...................................................................................................... 5 Layout plan of the proposed De Hoop Dam. .............................................................................................. 12 Geographic layout of the area comprising the Olifants River Water Management Area............................. 15 Middle Olifants sectoral water requirements for 2000. ............................................................................... 17 Reconciliation of water requirements and availability for 2000 (million m³/a). ............................................ 17 Technical and public participation process and activities that comprise the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project................................................ 27 EIA summary schedule............................................................................................................................... 46

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 Table 2. Table 3. Table 4. Table 5. Table 6. Table 7. Table 8. Table 9. Table 10. Population distribution in The Greater Sekhukhune CBDM 3 Natural Mean Annual Runoff and Ecological Reserve (million m /a). Sectors of society represented by I&APs on the direct mailing list Project announcement distribution data. Advertisements to announce opportunity to contribute to the EIA. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry formal liaison structures established for the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project. Departmental stakeholder liaison outside formal structures. List of public places in the project area and beyond where Background Information Documents and the Draft Scoping Report were lodged for public review. Public meetings to comment on the Draft Scoping Report. Key activities and anticipated time frames. 18 24 28 29 29 31 31 32 34 46

LIST OF PLATES

Plate 1. Plate 2. Plate 3. Plate 4. Plate 5. Plate 6. Upstream view of the area of inundation of the proposed De Hoop Dam................................................... 13 View of batching plant at Flag Boshielo Dam. ............................................................................................ 13 View of typical pump station and balancing dam........................................................................................ 14 View of a typical reservoir balancing dam. ................................................................................................. 14 View of one of five project notice boards (Jane Furse Municipal Offices)................................................... 30 View of one of five project notice boards (Flag Boshielo Dam) .................................................................. 30 Available from Public Participation Office, see page iii

LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix 1. Draft Issues and Response Report accompanying the Draft Scoping Report

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ACRONYMS

ACER CBA CBDM CBO CSIR DC DEAT DME DSR DWAF EIA EIR EMP EMPR GDP I&AP MMSDsa NEMA NGO NWRS ORWRDP PSP RoD SIA WCD WMA ACER (Africa) Environmental Management Consultants Cost/Benefit Analysis Cross Boundary District Municipality Community Based Organisation CSIR Environmentek District Municipality Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Department of Minerals and Energy Draft Scoping Report Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Impact Report Environmental Management Plan Environmental Management Programme Report Gross Domestic Product Interested and Affected Party Mining Minerals and Sustainable Development (Southern Africa) National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998) Non Government Organisation National Water Resource Strategy Olifants River Water Resources Development Project Professional Service Provider Record of Decision Social Impact Assessment World Commission on Dams Water Management Area

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1.

1 .1

INTRODUCTION

Background

Water requirements in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces of South Africa are expected to increase significantly due to the expansion of current activities as well as new and proposed developments in the region, particularly in the mining sector. The purpose and need for the proposed project are, therefore, to provide physical infrastructure (a storage dam and associated bulk transfer pipelines and pump stations) that will enable the reallocation of water to meet current and future water needs of all sectors within the middle parts of the Olifants catchment, as well as parts of the Mogalakwena/Sand catchments. To meet water demands and associated delivery deadlines, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry commissioned the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project (ORWRDP) that comprises two phases:

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Phase 1 involves the raising of Flag Boshielo Dam by 5 m. Necessary authorisations for this activity have been obtained and construction has recently commenced. Phase 2 involves investigations for the development of additional water resource infrastructure within the middle parts of the Olifants Water Management Area (WMA). Phase 2 is the focus of current environmental investigations, including this Draft Scoping Report (DSR) and its Summary Report.

The focus of this project is the middle parts of the Olifants River catchment in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces of South Africa. This area, with its urgent water demands, is bounded by Ohrigstad in the east, Mokopane in the north-west, Polokwane in the north and Roossenekal in the south. The historic development of the Olifants River basin is characterised by developments associated with the farming potential of the soil and the mineral wealth of the region. The greater part of the study area is underlain by the mineral rich Bushveld Igneous Complex. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has undertaken previous investigations to identify options to supply water from the middle parts of the Olifants and Steelpoort Rivers for various alternative purposes. These options have included supplying Polokwane and Mokopane with water from the Olifants River and investigating options to supply primary water to the communities on the Nebo Plateau from the Steelpoort River and from local groundwater resources. Since these earlier investigations were conducted, the water demand requirements in the area have changed significantly due to the rapid expansion of the mining sector on the eastern limb of the Merensky Reef. To secure the water necessary for their initial development needs, the mining sector has leased, for a five-year period, an under-utilised portion of water from the irrigation sector. The raising of Flag Boshielo Dam will also be able to provide a short-term supply of water to the mining sector once this lease agreement has expired. However, beyond the short-term time horizon, it is deemed necessary to provide additional water storage and bulk pumping and conveyance infrastructure to enable the transfer or reallocation of water use rights between different geographic areas within the WMA, and between different sectors, for example, irrigated agriculture and mining/industry. The purpose of this Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is to evaluate whether this can be done on a sustainable basis, for the development of the region. As stated in the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998), in each area of the country there will be a number of possible solutions to balance, or `reconcile', water requirements with water availability. The middle parts of the Olifants River catchment will be dealt with in the same way. Due to the recent increase in water demands, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry needed to review the range of possible alternative developments that were identified previously in order to identify the most feasible configuration to meet the new demand.

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Therefore, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry commissioned a Screening Phase investigation between January and March 2004 in order to identify possible red flags or fatal flaws associated with the various development alternatives and configurations. These results are documented in a Screening Report that is available form the Public Participation Office (contact details are provided on page iv). Briefly, the following options were reviewed during the Screening Phase: in the Olifants River catchment, two new proposed dams at the farm Rooipoort (Olifants River) and the farm De Hoop (Steelpoort River), a possible dam at Groenvley on the Sterk River (a tributary of the Mogalakwena River), and a possible dam on the Phalala River; the purchase or lease of water rights from three possible irrigation areas in the Mokopane region; water demand/conservation measures and developing local groundwater resources to supply communities on the Nebo Plateau. Following integration of the Screening assessments from the technical, economic and environmental teams of the ORWRDP, the preferred infrastructural development option (Figure 1) was identified by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, together with the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provincial Governments, and in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, as follows:

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The construction of the proposed De Hoop Dam. This component of the proposed project also involves realignment of the provincial road between Steelpoort and Stoffberg (the R555). The construction of a pipeline, associated pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs from the De Hoop Dam along the R37 (between Burgersfort and Lebowakgomo) past Atok Mine to the Olifantspoort Weir. The construction of a branch pipeline, associated pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs from the De Hoop Dam/Olifantspoort Weir pipeline to Jane Furse, including verification of a site for a water treatment (purification) works. The construction of a pipeline, associated pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs from Flag Boshielo Dam to Mokopane.

R37

R71 R519 R579

R33

R37 R36

R573 R555 R25 R33

Figure 1.

Map showing proposed project infrastructure.

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The above physical infrastructure comprises Phase 2 of the ORWRDP and is central to the environmental authorisation process currently being undertaken by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and its appointed Professional Service Providers (PSPs). The planned bulk distribution system will interconnect Flag Boshielo and De Hoop Dams, to enable the supply of water to all users at a higher level of assurance, through the operation of a single system. Water rights/allocations will not be cancelled, but will be reallocated to a different source (such as the current Lebalelo allocations from Flag Boshielo Dam that, in future, will be supplied from De Hoop Dam). This will not make additional water available, but will better distribute the water to all users from both sources.

1 .2

Environmental authorisation process

The environmental authorisation process that is being followed for the physical infrastructural components of the ORWRDP conforms, where applicable and appropriate, to the requirements of the Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of AN EIA TYPICALLY 1989), the National CONSISTS OF FOUR Environmental ManageMAIN PHASES ment Act (No 107 of 1998), the National Heritage Scoping Phase Impact Environmental Decision-making Assessment Impact Report Phase Resources Act (Act 25 of Phase 1999), the Minerals and Proponent and Consolidate To identify Detailed studies authorities use EIA Petroleum Resources findings of impact issues to focus of potential findings to decide assessment Development Act (Act 28 of the EIA impacts, positive if project goes studies and negative 2002), and the National ahead Water Act (Act 36 of 1998). Essentially, this EIA is Figure 2. The four principal phases of an Environmental being undertaken in four Impact Assessment. main phases (Figure 2): q Scoping. q Impact Assessment. q Environmental Impact Report (integrated report of findings). q Decision making. Importantly, these four main phases are underpinned and supported by other sub-phases, for example, Screening (that preceded the EIA), pre-application consultation with the environmental authorities, the preparation and submission of an application for authorisation to undertake listed activities, and the preparation and submission of a Plan of Study for Scoping. In addition, there are other activities that will occur further into the process, viz. the preparation of a Plan of Study for Impact Assessment, the issuing of a Record of Decision by the environmental authorities, the preparation of an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), and monitoring of compliance with the provisions of the EMP. The EIA for the proposed De Hoop Dam and associated National Bulk Water Infrastructure is currently in the Scoping Phase. This is the first phase of the EIA during which issues are identified for investigation, assessment and resolution during the next phase. On completion of the Impact Assessment, should the proposed project be authorised by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), an EMP will be prepared. The purpose of the EMP is to transfer the findings and mitigation measures outlined in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) into measurable actions that will become legally binding on the development proponent, viz. the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Activities to date and proposed future actions are detailed in Section 5 and Figure 8, respectively.

1 .3

Requirements of the Department of Minerals and Energy

Running concurrently with the environmental authorisation process is a regulated process to obtain authorisation, from the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), to utilise various quarry and borrow sites

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required for sourcing construction materials. This process is being conducted according to the provisions of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002) (promulgated on 3 May 2004). Given that there are potentially a significant number of borrow sites required for the construction of the pipelines, discussions are currently under way between the Departments of Water Affairs and Forestry and Minerals and Energy to streamline the authorisation process. Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) are invited to submit their comments on borrow sites and quarries as part of the overall EIA for the proposed ORWRDP.

1 .4

Other Activities and Investigations feeding into the EIA

In addition to the environmental authorisation process for the proposed project, there are elements and project activities that are being undertaken by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry that do not require authorisation. Nevertheless, these components of the overall ORWRDP are important and will feed into the Environmental Impact Report to be compiled for the consideration of the authorities. These activities are:

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Water conservation and demand management assessments. A cost-benefit analysis/Macro-economic assessment. Water trading investigations. A regional economic assessment. Attention to international protocols and agreements. Provision of the Reserve for the Steelpoort River.

1 .5

The Environmental Impact Assessment Team

ACER (Africa) Environmental Management Consultants (ACER) and CSIR Environmentek (CSIR) have been appointed as technical consultants to deal with the environmental aspects related to the infrastructure developments for Phase 2. Zitholele Consulting in conjunction with Golder Associates have been appointed to undertake public participation in support of the environmental investigations and authorisation process. Collectively, the four firms constitute the EIA Team.

1 .6

The Assessing and Commenting Authorities

The national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is the lead authority for this EIA, and will make the final decision on whether the proposed project may go ahead or not, and under what conditions. In fulfilling this responsibility, DEAT will collaborate closely with the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture and Land Administration and the Limpopo Department of Finance and Economic Development. DEAT will also use the inputs from other relevant government departments and agencies, for example, the Department of Minerals and Energy, the Department of Land Affairs, the Mpumalanga Department of Transport, the Limpopo Roads Agency, the South African Heritage Resources Agency, and district and local municipalities, before making a final decision.

1 .7

Draft Scoping Report

This DSR is part of several information documents that will be produced during the EIA for the proposed De Hoop Dam and associated National Bulk Water Infrastructure. This report contains a description of the proposed activity, including alternatives, a description of the receiving environment and how it may be affected, a description of the technical and public participation processes undertaken to date, a discussion of environmental issues of concern that have been raised thus far, an outline of how issues and potential impacts will be investigated in the next phase of the EIA, viz. the Impact Assessment, and an indication of the next steps and the timing thereof.

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The DSR has been jointly compiled by ACER/CSIR and Zitholele/Golder as the four PSPs comprising the EIA Team. It should be noted that the DSR has been released for public review whilst comments and inputs are still being obtained from the public. This has been done to provide stakeholders with additional project information on which to comment and a four-week period in which to provide comment. Importantly, new issues arising from the latter part of scoping will be included into the Final Scoping Report.

2.

FRAMEWORK FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

There are a number of considerations that have guided the approach to this EIA and which have provided an assessment framework.

2 .1

Concept of sustainability

The concept of sustainability underpinning this assessment considers three inter-related dimensions of the environment, viz. the social, economic and biophysical dimensions (Figure 3). For an option or project to be sustainable, it needs to demonstrate economic growth, Economic social acceptability and soundness, and ecological Social Dimension integrity within a framework of good governance. All Dimension three of these dimensions of sustainability need to be taken into account when assessing a proposed option or project, taking due cognisance that the three dimensions are seldom in perfect balance, often dictated by local circumstances.

Biophysical Dimension

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Key sustainability principles include: Development must not irretrievably degrade the natural, built, social, economic and governance resources on which it is based. Current actions should not cause irreversible damage to natural and other resources, as this

Figure 3. Inter-related dimensions of sustainability.

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potentially precludes sustainable options. Where there is uncertainty about the impact of activities on the environment, caution should be exercised in favour of the environment. Land use and environmental planning need to be integrated. Immediate and long-term actions need to be identified and planned for, so that urgent needs can be met while still progressing towards longer-term sustainable solutions.

In the case of the development of the water resources of the middle parts of the Olifants WMA, the economic dimension of the environment is the primary driver. Therefore, within the assessment framework, particular focus and care have been placed on the social and biophysical dimensions.

2 .2

World Commission on Dams

The final report of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) was published in November 2000. The objectives of this Commission were to review the effectiveness of large dams and develop internationally acceptable principles, strategic priorities, criteria and guidelines for application in projects aimed at providing water supplies to meet the needs of society. The Commission, now disbanded, held no legal authority and each nation is responsible for implementing the recommendations on its own accord.

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Key findings of the WCD are as follows:

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Dams have made an important and significant contribution to human development and the benefits derived from them have been considerable. However, in too many cases, an unacceptable and often unnecessary price has been paid to secure those benefits, especially in social and environmental terms, by people displaced, by communities located downstream of a new dam, by taxpayers, and by the natural environment. A lack of equity in the distribution of benefits has called into question the value of many dams in meeting water and energy development needs, when compared to alternatives. By bringing to the table all those whose rights are involved and who bear the risks associated with different options for water and energy resources development, the conditions for a positive resolution of competing interests and conflicts are created. Negotiating outcomes will greatly improve the development effectiveness of water and energy projects by eliminating unfavourable projects at an early stage, and by offering, as a choice, only those options that key stakeholders agree represent the best ones to meet the needs in question.

The WCD identified seven strategic priorities, supported by policy principles, to provide a principled and practical way forward for decision-making. These strategic priorities have been included within the 2 assessment framework for this proposed project and are summarized as follows:

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Gaining public acceptance.

Public acceptance of key decisions is essential for equitable and sustainable water and energy resources development. This requires the use of decision-making processes and mechanisms that enable informed participation by all groups of people, and result in the demonstrable acceptance of key decisions. With regard to the ORWRDP, various parallel means of communication and participation have been implemented and, in particular, this EIA is underpinned and supported by comprehensive public participation, also during the Screening Phase that preceded this EIA. How this manifests in the acceptance of decisions later in the process must still be determined. However, it should also be recognised that consensus is seldom achieved. Rather, it is the diversity of opinion that leads to the taking of more informed and better decisions.

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Comprehensive options assessment.

Alternatives to dams often exist. To explore these alternatives, the needs for water, food and energy must be assessed and objectives clearly defined. The appropriate development response must be identified from a range of options that is based on comprehensive and participatory assessment of the full range of policy, institutional and technical options. In the assessment process, social and environmental aspects must have the same significance as economic and financial factors. The options assessment process should continue through all stages of planning, project development and operations. As has been stated previously in this DSR, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is continuously involved in medium- and long-term water resources planning that are primarily strategic in nature. At times, planning becomes more intensive within a specified geographic area with a view to one or more water resources development projects. In the case of the ORWRDP, the current assignment that deals with the proposed De Hoop Dam and associated National Bulk Water Infrastructure, was preceded by various investigations into alternative options to meet water demands in the middle parts of the Olifants WMA, both from the supply- and demand-sides. In addition, the current assignment was preceded by a Screening Phase that evaluated various infrastructural and noninfrastructural alternatives, the result of which, as agreed between the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provincial Governments, is the project configuration currently under consideration.

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It should be noted that many of the dams investigated as part of the Commission's work were for hydropower or irrigation purposes, and involved the inundation of large areas and large numbers of people. Comparisons to the proposed De Hoop Dam are not direct. Nevertheless, the strategic priorities are relevant and, in the interests of best practice, are being applied to this project, where applicable and appropriate.

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

Addressing existing dams.

Opportunities exist to optimise the benefits from many existing dams and these must be considered. Dams and the context in which they operate are not static over time. Changes in water use priorities, physical and land use changes in the river basin, technological developments, and changes in public policy expressed in environmental, safety, economic, and technical regulations may transform benefits and impacts. These principles have been applied within the context of the ORWRDP, firstly, via the raising of Flag Boshielo Dam and, secondly, the current project configuration optimises existing infrastructure, and proposes additional infrastructure to enable the transfer or reallocation of water use rights between the Flag Boshielo Dam and the proposed De Hoop Dam.

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Sustaining rivers and livelihoods.

Rivers, watersheds and aquatic ecosystems are the biological `engines' of the planet. They are the basis for life and the livelihoods of local communities. Dams transform landscapes and create risks of irreversible impacts. Understanding, protecting and restoring ecosystems at river basin level are essential to foster equitable human development and the welfare of all species. Options assessment and decision-making around river development must prioritise the avoidance of impacts, followed by the minimisation and mitigation of harm to the health and integrity of the river system. These aspects are well-known and form part of the issues raised during Scoping. The manner in which they will be addressed, and negative impacts mitigated, form part of the Impact Assessment, inclusive of Specialist Studies, that will follow Scoping.

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Recognising entitlements and sharing benefits.

Joint negotiations with adversely affected people result in mutually agreed and legally enforceable mitigation and development provisions. Affected people are beneficiaries of the project. Successful mitigation, resettlement and development are fundamental commitments and responsibilities of the State and the developer. They bear the onus to satisfy all affected people that moving from their current context and resources will improve their livelihoods. A key component of any water resources development project, including the ORWRDP, is the optimisation of project benefits, including benefits to directly affected persons who potentially may be negatively impacted upon by the proposed De Hoop Dam and associated National Bulk Water Infrastructure. To this end, an integral component of the EIA is a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) that will inform and be informed by a Task Team charged with matters relating to land acquisition, compensation and resettlement, with the ultimate objective being the attainment of comparable sustainable livelihoods that prevailed prior to the developmental intervention. Most of this work lies into the future, but, planning is already underway.

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Ensuring compliance.

Ensuring public trust and confidence requires that the governments, developers, regulators and operators meet all commitments made for the planning, implementation and operation of dams. Regulatory and compliance frameworks need to use incentives and sanctions to ensure effectiveness where flexibility is needed to accommodate changing circumstances. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the development proponent for this proposed water resources development, upholds the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa as well as legislation governing its own activities. This is wellformulated in various policies that have been developed by the Department. This is expected to continue into the future, including the operation of the proposed new infrastructure to enable the Department to meet its primary mandate of providing water to the citizens of the country, while not neglecting international agreements and obligations (the latter is being attended to within the current assignment by a dedicated Departmental Task Team). Furthermore, this EIA will result in a legally binding EMP that will contain measurable actions to be implemented by the development proponent to mitigate affects on the environment.

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

Sharing rivers for peace, development and security.

Storage and diversion of water on transboundary rivers has been a source of considerable tension between countries and even within countries. The use and management of such shared resources must increasingly become the subject of mutual self-interest for regional co-operation and peaceful collaboration. This leads to a shift in focus from the narrow approach of allocating a finite resource, to the sharing of rivers and their associated benefits in which States can become innovative in defining the scope of issues for discussion. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, through the Government of the Republic of South Africa, is signatory to various international agreements on shared water courses and transboundary rivers. As indicated earlier, these matters are receiving attention within the current project by a dedicated Departmental Task Team. Since the release of the final report of the WCD in November 2000, stakeholders in South Africa held a symposium to discuss the findings. At this symposium, South African stakeholders declared themselves to be broadly supportive of the strategic priorities outlined in the WCD Report. The Symposium elected a multistakeholder Steering Committee to prepare a plan to take the WCD guidelines further in the Southern African context. This Steering Committee was later reconstituted as the Co-ordinating Committee with two representatives chosen from each of the following sectors: government, NGOs, affected parties, utilities, private, academic, research, finance, agriculture and labour. Furthermore, although the focus was on South Africa, input from regional stakeholders was encouraged. The aim of the initiative is to relate the principles and findings of the WCD Report to the specific South African legislative and policy framework, and so to influence the way South Africa goes about water and energy resources management nationally. The Co-ordinating Committee produced a Scoping Report that contextualised the WCD Report findings and made recommendations on its implementation in South Africa. The preparation of this Scoping Report was the initial agreed step in the South African Multi-stakeholder Initiative process. The objective of the Scoping Report was to develop a tool for decision-making that would reflect the potentially disparate views of a range of stakeholders within the country. Participants in the Multi-stakeholder Forum in 2002 reviewed the report and agreed that the following four priorities needed further exploration and action:

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Reparations/compensation for outstanding problems. Whether social and environmental issues were accorded equal weight with economic, financial and technical issues. South African stakeholder involvement. How to determine the point at which it can be said that public acceptance has been demonstrated.

Two main institutional issues also arose which were noted for further discussion. These were local institutional capacity for the management of water resources and the nature of the multi-stakeholder institutional mechanisms needed to take the WCD and South African policy principles forward. Further progress should be made during the 4 Multi-Stakeholder Forum in October 2004 when the various outcomes of the studies and activities undertaken by the Co-ordinating Committee since the 2002 MultiStakeholder Forum are to be discussed.

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2 .3

International Considerations

The Olifants River enters Mozambique shortly before it joins the Limpopo River, and is considered to be part of the Limpopo Basin. The Limpopo River is shared by Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. South Africa has international agreements and obligations with each of these countries that it needs to meet in terms of any new water resource developments within the Olifants River WMA.

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An important consideration is the fact that Mozambique has plans to raise the Massingir Dam, located on the Olifants River just within Mozambique, with the intention of rehabilitating the Chokwe Irrigation Scheme. New dam developments by South Africa on the Olifants River or its tributaries may affect the quantity and timing of water that Mozambique will receive. The nature and extent of the impacts for each country need to be negotiated and agreed upon. These processes are currently receiving attention within the current project by a dedicated Departmental Task Team.

2 .4

Legal/statutory Requirements

There are several key pieces of legislation (Acts, associated Regulations, as amended, and international obligations) governing the environmental activities within the ambit of the ORWRDP.

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International agreements and obligations. § The South African Government has, over time, entered into various agreements with co-basin states. In this case, the relevant countries are Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. South Africa's obligations in terms of these agreements are being handled as a separate task (by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) within a suite of tasks commissioned for the purposes of the ORWRDP. Particular attention is being paid to the Revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses. In addition to agreements involving co-basin states, South Africa is also a signatory to a number of international conventions. Possibly the most important convention in terms of the ORWRDP and the possible construction of the proposed De Hoop Dam is the International Convention on Biological Diversity (5 June 1992), as signed and ratified by South Africa on 4 June 1993 and 2 November 1995, respectively. South Africa is currently committing the requirements of the convention into South African law via the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) (that has not yet been published in the Government Gazette, i.e. there is no confirmed date of commencement).

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Overarching South African legislation. § § § § § § Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act (Act 108 of 1996) as amended by the Constitution of Republic of South Africa Amendment Act (Act 35 of 1997). Development Facilitation Act (Act 67 of 1995). National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999). National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998). Promotion of Access to Information Act (Act 2 of 2000) as amended by the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Act (Act 54 of 2002). Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (Act 3 of 2000) as amended by the Promotion of Administrative Justice Amendment Act (Act 53 of 2002).

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Mining legislation. § Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002) (promulgated on 3 May 2004). Environmental legislation. National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998). Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989).

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Of all of the above, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act (Act 108 of 1996) as amended by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Amendment Act (Act 35 of 1997) is the most important since it provides a framework within which all other laws of the country, including environmental law, must be formulated and interpreted.

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The Bill of Rights is fundamental to the Constitution, and in Section 24 it is stated that `Everyone has the right (a) to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and (b) to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that (i) prevent pollution and ecological degradation; (ii) promote conservation; and (iii) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development'. It can be argued that the National Environmental Management (NEMA) Act (Act 107 of 1998) is the next most important as it is a `principles-based Act' that provides South Africa's overarching environmental legislation. This Act has as its primary objectives to provide for co-operative environmental governance by establishing principles for decision-making on matters affecting the environment, institutions that will promote co-operative governance, and procedures for co-ordinating environmental functions exercised by organs of state. The Act provides for the right to an environment that is not harmful to the health and well-being of South African citizens; the equitable distribution of natural resources; sustainable development; environmental protection; and the formulation of environmental management frameworks. NEMA contains a set of principles that govern environmental management, and against which all environmental management plans and actions are measured. Sustainable development requires the consideration of all relevant factors including the following:

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Environmental management must place people and their needs at the forefront of its concern, and serve their physical, psychological, developmental, cultural and social interests equitably. That pollution and degradation of the environment are avoided, or, where they cannot be altogether avoided, are minimised and remedied. That waste is avoided, or where it cannot be altogether avoided, minimised and reused or recycled where possible and otherwise disposed of in a responsible manner. That a risk averse and cautious approach is applied, which takes into account the limits of current knowledge about the consequences of decisions and actions. Responsibility for the environmental health and safety consequences of a policy, programme, project, product, process, service or activity exists throughout its life cycle. The participation of interested and affected parties in environmental governance must be promoted, and all people must have the opportunity to develop the understanding, skills and capacity necessary for achieving equitable and effective participation, and participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged persons must be ensured. Decisions must take into account the interests, needs and values of all interested and affected parties, and this includes recognising all forms of knowledge, including traditional and ordinary knowledge. Community well-being and empowerment must be promoted through environmental education, the raising of environmental awareness, the sharing of knowledge and experience and other appropriate means. The right of workers to refuse work that is harmful to human health or the environment and to be informed of dangers must be respected and protected. Decisions must be taken in an open and transparent manner, and access to information must be provided in accordance with the law. The vital role of women and youth in environmental management and development must be recognised and their full participation therein must be promoted.

In as much as borrow areas and quarries are concerned, there has been disagreement amongst different stakeholders concerning the applicability of environmental legislation in relation to mining and the requirements of the DME. NEMA takes away this disagreement, with NEMA being of application by virtue of Sections 24 and 48 (albeit that, at this stage, not all NEMA Regulations have been promulgated but,

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nevertheless, are of concurrent application with the Environmental Conservation Act)3. [Similarly, the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002) (promulgated on 3 May 2004) removes any remaining doubt]. In terms of environmental authorisation, the Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989), and associated Regulations, as amended, remains in force. The primary objective of this Act is to provide for the effective protection and controlled utilisation of the environment (Henderson, 1996).

2 .5

Non-regulatory Activities

Within the configuration of the ORWRDP, there are a number of activities that are being undertaken but which do not require environmental authorisation by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. These activities are being addressed by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to demonstrate best practice and to align the ORWRDP with the strategic priorities arising from the WCD. Non-regulatory activities that are currently being undertaken include:

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Water conservation and demand management assessments. A cost-benefit analysis/Macro-economic assessment. Water trading investigations. A regional economic assessment. International protocols and agreements. Provision of the Reserve for the Steelpoort River.

These studies will be undertaken as part of the wider ORWRDP and their results and findings will be fed back into the EIA, notably, the Environmental Impact Report that will be drafted following the completion of Specialist Studies that form part of the Impact Assessment.

3.

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT INFRASTRUCTURE

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The proposed De Hoop Dam will be the first large dam on the Steelpoort River (Figure 1). The dam wall will be about 70 m high, the impounded lake will cover an area of about 1,600 ha when full (Figure 4), will be 3 3 able to store about 300 million m of water and would have an assured yield of about 90 million m of water per year. When the dam is full it is expected to between 910 and 917 metres above sea level. Various dam types and spillway options are being investigated as alternatives. The construction of the proposed De Hoop Dam will also require the realignment of the provincial road, between Steelpoort and Stoffberg (the R555), around the proposed dam and dam wall. During preliminary investigations, various alternatives were evaluated, on both the right and left banks of the proposed dam. Road realignment alternatives on the right bank traverse hilly territory that is home to valuable vegetation contributing to the Sekhukhuneland Centre for Plant Endemism (adding to negative impacts on terrestrial ecosystems). Therefore, at this stage, a road realignment on the left bank (flatter terrain but with river crossings) is preferred, aligned as closely as permissible to the dam basin edge to minimise land losses to current landowners. National Bulk Water Infrastructure will be constructed to deliver raw water to where it is required. This comprises:

4

3

It should be noted that Draft Regulations have been published for public comment. The comment period is two months after which the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism will need to consider comments that have been received. At this stage, it is uncertain when the NEMA Regulations will come into force. Importantly, this environmental authorisation process has commenced ahead of the publication of the NEMA Regulations and, therefore, will be subject to and assessed within the provisions of the existing Regulations (as amended) of the Environment Conservation Act. It is important to note that details pertaining to the proposed dam and bulk infrastructure may change during the optimisation of the project.

4

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Proposed De Hoop Dam

Figure 4.

Layout plan of the proposed De Hoop Dam.

q

q

q

Construction of a pipeline, associated pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs from the proposed De Hoop Dam along the R37 (between Stoffberg and Lebowakgomo) past Atok Mine, to link to the existing Olifants/Sand transfer scheme that supplies water to Polokwane. This pipeline and appurtenant works will be sized to enable a possible future extension to Lebowakgomo and 5 Mokopane . The project will also provide for additional capacity for water supply to Polokwane. Construction of a branch pipeline, associated pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs from the De Hoop Dam/Olifantspoort pipeline to Jane Furse, including verification of a site for a water treatment (purification) works. Construction of a pipeline, associated pump stations, balancing dams, off-takes and reservoirs from Flag Boshielo Dam to Mokopane.

The National Bulk Water Infrastructure listed above requires the construction of approximately 300 km of pipelines, with the largest pipe size being 1.4 m in diameter. The construction servitude will be approximately 30 m wide, with the final operating servitude being 15 m wide. At this stage, it is envisaged that twelve pump stations will be required (Figure 1). Each pump station will be 3 fully fenced with security fencing, and will contain pumps that can typically pump 2.6 m /s to a head of up to 275 m. In addition, there will be balancing dams (one for each pump station) approximately 0.5 ha in size.

5

Future extensions do not form part of this environmental authorisation process.

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Lastly, there will be five reservoirs from which local authorities will be able to source water for onward reticulation to end-users. Bulk users will also be supplied through off-takes directly from the pipelines. It is not the responsibility of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to ensure that purified water is provided to individual households; that remains the responsibility of the relevant local authorities. It should be noted that the bulk distribution infrastructure will be optimised during the preliminary design phase, and that the configuration and sizing could possibly change. The reservoirs are currently proposed at the following areas:

q q q q q

Pruizen reservoir. Lebowakgomo reservoir. Mooihoek reservoir. De Hoop reservoir. Jane Furse reservoir.

The physical footprint of each reservoir varies according to capacity and ground topography. However, in general, a construction area of 1 ha per reservoir is anticipated. It is also important to note that the relatively small size of the reservoirs suggests a high throughput of water on an on-going basis. The proposed dam and bulk water infrastructure comprise a number of components, the construction of which entails a variety of inter-related activities, as listed below:

q

Proposed De Hoop Dam. § Dam wall and spillway structure. § Inundation area of approximately 1,600 ha (Plate 1). § Residential construction camp, including housing, services (internal roads, water provision, electricity supply, waste water treatment, solid waste disposal, emergency facilities and recreational amenities). § Construction site, including offices, services (internal roads, water provision, electricity supply, waste water treatment, solid waste disposal, emergency facilities and areas for the handling of hazardous substances), workshops, wash bays, areas for the safe storage of explosives and radio communication infrastructure. § Facilities for the bulk storage and dispensing of fuel for construction vehicles. § Working areas for the stockpiling of construction materials and the siting and operation of batching (Plate 2) and bitumen plants. Plate 1. Upstream view of the area of inundation § Realignment of the R555 provincial road. of the proposed De Hoop Dam.

Plate 2.

View of batching plant at Flag Boshielo Dam.

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q

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

Bulk water infrastructure. § Pipelines, pump stations, balancing dams (Plate 3), off-takes and reservoirs (Plate 4). § Residential construction camps at different points along the three pipeline routes, including housing, services (internal roads, water provision, electricity supply, waste water treatment and solid waste disposal). § Construction sites at different points along the three pipeline routes, including offices, services (internal roads, water provision, electricity supply, waste water treatment, solid waste disposal and areas for the handling of hazardous substances), workshops, wash bays and radio communication infrastructure. § Facilities for the bulk storage and dispensing of fuel for construction vehicles. § Working areas for the stockpiling of construction materials and the siting and operation of small batching plants. § Confirmation of a proposed site for the future construction of a water treatment/purification plant along the Jane Furse branch pipeline.

Plate 3.

View of typical pump station and balancing dam.

Plate 4.

View of a typical reservoir balancing dam.

Construction activities will also require the excavation of borrow areas from which construction materials will be sourced. All borrow pit areas and quarries will be subject to the provisions of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002). This process of authorisation through the Department of Minerals and Energy is being undertaken concurrently with that required for environmental authorisation in terms of the Environment Conservation Act and its associated Regulations. It is important to note that transmission lines required for the pump stations do not form part of this assessment as these are being dealt with separately by Eskom. Similarly, compensation, resettlement and servitude negotiations arising from the proposed infrastructure do not form part of the brief of the EIA Team as these aspects are being dealt with directly by a dedicated team within the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

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4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT

The proposed development is located in the Olifants River WMA, more specifically in the middle parts of the Olifants and the Steelpoort sub-catchments (Figure 5). The dam basin will be situated in the Steelpoort subcatchment, while the bulk water distribution infrastructure will traverse various environments, which, collectively, constitute the `affected' or `receiving environment'. In addition to physical location, the proposed development will influence a wider area, in particular, water users downstream on the Olifants River. This section of the DSR presents a description of the affected environment, in terms of its biophysical, social and economic characteristics. It focuses on the environment in which the proposed development will be physically located, although it is acknowledged that the affected environment covers a wider area.

4 .1

International context

The Olifants catchment is a sub-catchment of the Limpopo River Basin, and is shared by South Africa and Mozambique. The Olifants River flows directly from South Africa through the Kruger National Park, into Mozambique, where it joins the Limpopo River. The proposed development will, therefore, have effects on parts of the Kruger National Park, as well as on Massingir Dam in Mozambique, which is located immediately downstream of the border with South Africa. The utilization of the water resources of the Olifants River by South Africa and Mozambique is facilitated through bodies such as the bilateral Joint Water Commission between the two countries.

Figure 5.

Geographic layout of the area comprising the Olifants River Water Management Area.

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4 .2

Regional context

The dam basin will be situated in Mpumalanga, with the associated bulk water infrastructure passing through to Limpopo. In terms of the Municipal Demarcation Act (Act 27 of 1998), the receiving environment is in the Greater Sekhukhune Cross Boundary District Municipality (CBDM), which is a cross boundary municipality between the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. The northern portion of the project area lies in the Waterberg and Capricorn District Municipalities, which are situated in Limpopo. The Greater Sekhukhune CBDM (CBDC3) is made up of the Greater Tubatse, Greater Groblersdal, Greater Marble Hall, Makhuduthamaga and Fetakgomo Local Municipalities. In the Waterberg District Municipality (DC36), the affected local municipality is the Mogalakwena Local Municipality, whilst in the Capricorn District Municipality (DC35), it is the Polokwane Local Municipality.

4.2.1

Local towns in the study area

The Limpopo component of the project area involves the City of Polokwane, and the towns of Lebowakgomo and Mokopane situated in the northern and north-eastern parts of the study area. The towns of Steelpoort, Burgersfort, Taung and Roossenekal are situated to the east of the project areas whilst Jane Furse is located in the middle of the project area. Jane Furse is an important regional centre and is home to the Transitional Local Council that services the Greater Makhuduthamaga local government area. Tribal Authorities in the Sekhukhune CBDM include the following:

q q q q

Matlala-Lehwelere Tribal Authority. Matlala-Ramoshebo Tribal Authority. Bantwane Tribal Authority. Amandebele A-Moletlane Tribal Authority.

4 .3

Anticipated economic development

The main factors that influence and control society's requirements for water in a particular catchment include climatic characteristics, the nature and vigour of the economy, and the standards of living experienced by individuals and communities located in the area. Whilst climatic characteristics are seasonally variable, they are considered to be relatively stable in the medium-term, despite potential implications of global climate change. It is usually the projections of anticipated economic growth and improvements in community living standards that are regarded as the primary determinants of future water requirements in a specific area. However, in South Africa, these catchment-scale determinants are overlain onto the additional quantities of water that are required to sustain basic human needs and the water needs of aquatic and riparian ecosystems (the `Reserve'), and to meet the country's international obligations to deliver water to downstream neighbouring states (in this case, Mozambique). The entire Olifants WMA exhibits wide variations and differences in economic, socio-economic and social opportunities and characteristics. The upper part of the WMA is characterised by mining, industrial centres and coal-fired power stations. Rain-fed and irrigated areas of cultivation characterise the central and northwestern parts of the WMA, whilst there are also a number of villages and small communities dispersed throughout the WMA. The mines and urban centres in the northern and southern sectors of the area provide the main sources of income. Cultivation of annual crops and fruit orchards, as well as game farming and conservation are typical in the northern part of the WMA. At present, the catchment's available water resources are over-committed, in the sense that there is insufficient water available to meet existing needs. In addition, there are rapidly growing new needs for water to support agricultural, industrial and domestic water users linked to on-going economic developments within the WMA.

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Irrigation Urban Rural Mining and bulk industry Power generation Afforestation

Figure 6. Middle Olifants sectoral water requirements for 2000.

(Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2002)

The main water use sectors in the area include irrigation, mining, urban and industrial, water for basic human and ecological needs (Reserve), domestic water, as well as water transfer to the City of Polokwane. Results from recent studies of the sectoral water requirements for the middle parts of the Olifants and Steelpoort sections of the Olifants catchment during the year 2000 are shown in Figure 6.

Figure 7 shows the balance of water requirements and demand in the Olifants River Catchment, and illustrates the urgent need to reconcile water demands with water availability.

Lower Olifants Steelpoort Middle Olifants Upper Olifants 0

Figure 7.

101 164 61 95 301 395 409 410 200 400 600 Available Requirement

Reconciliation of water requirements and availability for 2000 (million m³/a).

"Available" includes local yield and transfers in. Similarly, "Requirement" includes local requirements and transfers out (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2002).

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has modelled water availability against water demand in the area, taking into account the anticipated consumption dynamics from 2000 to 2020 for each of the major water use sectors. According to this model, there is a prediction that a direct negotiation on water rights (between mines and farmers) would most likely end up with a complete transfer of water rights to the mining sector. Although this would have positive consequences in terms of economic efficiency, water productivity and formal employment in the area, this transfer would, however, challenge government objectives on equity, sustainable rural development and environmental integrity.

4.3.1

Mining and industrial sectors

The mining sector is considered to hold the greatest potential for economic development in the WMA (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2003). Estimates show that an additional quantity of about 3 25 million m per annum will be required by planned future mining developments, this in addition to the existing requirement for water by mines that are already established in the area (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2003). Recent population estimates (Statistics South Africa, 2002) predict a steady increase in population in the area, which will be centred mainly on the key mining and industrial areas. Mining and industry are key economic activities in the Olifants WMA and play a pivotal role in job creation and economic growth. Industry consists of various smelters and other manufacturing enterprises, whilst existing and planned mining developments hold considerable economic promise for the Olifants WMA. The rich mineral deposits that are present in the Olifants River Catchment continue to exert a strong influence on the types and extent of developments that occur (and will likely occur in future) in the catchment (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2003). This region is currently experiencing rapid and dramatic growth in the mining sector, and this growth is expected to continue over the next few years. More specifically in terms of this project, new mining developments aimed at the exploitation of rich deposits of platinum group metals (as well as vanadium, chrome and iron) have been initiated in the Steelpoort/Mogoto and Mokopane areas, and these activities are expected to expand significantly in the near future. Key mines in the area are focussed on deposits of platinum, chrome (Samancor, Tubatse Ferrochrome, Steelpoort and Tweefontein), vanadium and manganese. In addition, several opencast quarries exploit different sources of valuable dimension stone for ornamental use, whilst other quarries provide important sources of construction materials (for buildings and roads). 17

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Importantly, the continued development and expansion of mines in the area depends on a number of economic factors, and not only the availability of water. In US dollar terms, platinum prices have been at a 23-year high (Financial Mail, 20 February 2004), however, the profitability of mining is significantly influenced by the Rand/Dollar exchange rate. The current strong Rand potentially may delay expansion programmes and the opening of new mines. Thus, external economic factors may still influence the quantity of water required and the timing of this need.

4.3.2

Irrigation

Extensive irrigation occurs immediately downstream of Loskop Dam, along the middle and lower reaches of the Olifants River, especially near the confluence of the Blyde and Olifants Rivers, and along most of the length of the Steelpoort valley. Irrigation water users comprise the largest water use sector (using 57% of all 3 water used) in the Olifants WMA. At present, more than 550 million m of water is used for irrigation of fruit orchards and crops each year in the Olifants WMA. Although it is anticipated that irrigation will continue to dominate patterns of water use in the catchment, further expansion is not anticipated. In particular, both small subsistence agricultural users and larger commercial farming operations will all require continued water for irrigation of fruit orchards and food production, in particular, to ensure household food security.

4.3.3

Domestic use

Approximately 20 towns and large villages are located within the study area. This is in addition to numerous smaller communities and groups of homesteads. Some of the more fortunate communities are supplied with potable water via Government Water Schemes that deliver water to Local Authorities for further reticulation. Many smaller communities are not connected to formal water supply schemes and have to rely on water obtained from boreholes, hand dug wells and springs, where the water supply is often unpredictable and the water quality is frequently questionable. Consequently, health problems related to the use of poor quality water are encountered in the study area. Health problems as a result of poor quality water are expected to be compounded for those individuals whose immune systems have been compromised by HIV/AIDS (Ashton & Haasbroek, 2002).

4 .4

Social and Socio-economic Characteristics

This sub-section contains a description of the socio-economic status, demographics, as well as economic characteristics such as tourism and other land use activities in the project area.

4.4.1

Demography

According to the Municipal Demarcation Board (2002), the Greater Sekhukhune CBDM has a population of approximately 900,000 people and approximately 190,000 households (Municipal Demarcation Board, 2002). Recent data indicate a population growth of approximately 74,000 people (Table 1). The population is unevenly spread across the five municipalities that make up the Greater Sekhukhune CBDM (Table 1). Table 1 Population distribution in The Greater Sekhukhune CBDM

Municipality Greater Marble Hall Greater Groblersdal Greater Tubatse Makhuduthamaga Fetakgomo Total (www.idt.org.za)

Population 104,895 227,598 249,782 292,843 99,712 974,830

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Approximately 99% of the population is made up of Blacks, with 0.29% Whites, 0.02% Coloureds and 0.01% Asians. Males make up 44% of the population and females 56%. There is widespread male absenteeism as a result of labour migration to nearby urban centres in search of jobs (as reflected by the gender profile). Children in the 0 ­ 14 years age category make up a large proportion of the population. More than 47% of the population are below 15 years of age and are categorised as economically inactive. Approximately 94.7% of the population in the Greater Sekhukhune CBDM is distributed in rural areas and only 5.3% are urbanised. The most densely populated municipalities are the Makhuduthamaga and the 2 Fetakgomo municipalities, both located in Limpopo. These have approximately 141 people per km . The 2 Greater Tubatse Municipality has only about 48 people per km . The main towns in the area are Steelpoort and Burgersfort. The most densely populated area of the Steelpoort sub-catchment lies on the northern banks of the Steelpoort River, in the southern portion of Limpopo, where 2 the average population density is 117 persons/km . This area also has the highest rate of HIV infection in the project area. Population densities in the middle parts of the Olifants sub-catchment are greatest in the upper and middle reaches of the catchment, and decline towards downstream reaches.

4.4.2

Socio-economic status

The Sekhukhune CBDM is the most economically marginalised district in Limpopo, despite its mining, agriculture and tourism potential. More than 75% of the people in this district municipality earn less than R 12,000.00 per annum. Further, more than 75% of the economically active population is unemployed. A large proportion of the population living in communal land rely on subsistence farming and natural resource use for sustaining livelihoods. The small percentage of residents who have formal employment are predominantly employed by mines and farms in the area. The southern portion of Limpopo comprises 8% of the total area for Limpopo, yet 25% of the province's total population lives within this area (Stimie, et al., 2001). This sub-region has virtually no economic base and is economically the most marginal in Limpopo. Rural incomes are largely derived from remittances such as pensions and grants and 60% of the population is unemployed.

4.4.3

Land use activities

The Olifants WMA has a diverse range of economic activities, which range from mining, power generation, irrigated agriculture, dryland agriculture and industries. This WMA contributes over 5% of the GDP of South Africa (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2003). The Flag Boshielo Dam supplies water for domestic use in the north-western part of the Olifants WMA. There are a number of small towns and settlements, such as Lebowakgomo, with farming communities as well as light industry. Water transfers in the Olifants WMA include transfers from the Olifantspoort Weir in the middle Olifants to Polokwane. Rand Water supplies water to some towns in the southern portion of the WMA. The Letaba River supplies water for mining purposes and domestic use in the northern portion of the Olifants WMA. There are over ten existing mines in the Olifants WMA, and approximately 19 potential ones. The northern and north-eastern portion of the middle parts of the Olifants sub-catchment is the most economically important in terms of agriculture. There are numerous small and medium-scale livestock farming operations, as well as cultivated fields. A wide variety of cash crops are produced on irrigated and rain-fed areas, including maize, wheat, sorghum, cotton, tobacco, lucerne, potatoes, vegetables, sunflower and soya beans. There are also large-scale citrus estates and sub-tropical fruit orchards. Mining operations are predominantly chrome and platinum operations, as well as smaller operations of clay minerals, limestone and dolomite. The main water requirements in the Steelpoort sub-catchment are for basic human needs in the rural areas and mining activities. There are a number of small towns and settlements in the upper and central reaches of 19

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the sub-catchment, where population densities are high. There is irrigation as well as extensive rain fed agriculture practiced in the sub-catchment. There is also extensive small- and medium-scale livestock farming for both dairy and beef cattle. In the lower reaches of the sub-catchment population densities are lower. There are several small-scale subsistence farmers in the central and western portions of the sub-catchment, and a number of mines and industries. Mining operations in the Steelpoort sub-catchment include mines for iron, vanadium, chrome, platinum and copper. There is a large chrome smelter near the town of Steelpoort, and several agricultural cooperatives are located at Steelpoort and Burgersfort. The current land cover in the Sekhukhuneland region indicates that extensive transformation and land degradation has occurred. There is widespread evidence of poor soil conservation practices, which have resulted in rapid soil erosion in some areas. This is usually as a result of overgrazing and poor land care practices, especially within the communal agricultural areas. There are five major kinds of land ownership in this region, namely, communal land, mines, commercial agricultural land, residential areas and protected reserves. Estimates indicate that at least 35% of the Sekhukhuneland region is communal land. This land belongs to a population of mainly impoverished people, whose livelihoods depend on subsistence farming and natural resource use. As a result, there is extensive land transformation. The mountainous parts of the region are fairly intact, with good ecotourism potential.

4.4.4

Ecotourism

The region has potential in the tourism industry, especially in terms of eco- and adventure-tourism based on tourism products that are unique to the area. Many private landowners are venturing into game farming and ecotourism as sustainable land use options. At present, there are a number of existing ecotourism ventures, offering hiking, 4x4 trails, culture heritage tours and game viewing experiences. Along the Olifants River there are a number of tourist attractions, including the Mafefe Cultural Village. The Sekhukhune Heritage Site (Tjate) is about to be declared a national monument. There is also the Bakone Malapa Crocodile Farm, Chueniespoort holiday resort and the Valley of the Thousand Caves. The Coach route, Escarpment conservation, Leolo Mountains and the proposed Metro Park between Polokwane, Lebowakgomo and Mokopane add impetus to the potential for tourism development (Cambridge Resources International, 2003).

4.4.5

Facilities and services

The Greater Sekhukhune CBDM is faced with many challenges in terms of basic infrastructure and service provision. This is more evident in the rural areas, including farms, where there is inadequate infrastructure and services for needs such as health, water supply, sanitation, energy supply and shelter. For example, the Sekhukhune CBDM shows a ratio of greater than 2,000 persons per primary health facility in the district. Less than 40% of households in the district municipality have connections to direct telecommunication facilities. Approximately 30% of the population does not have formal education. Classroom shortage characterises average schools in the district. Although various modes of transport exist in the area, railway facilities are unevenly spread. The major connecting routes are of inferior quality. Housing in the district includes both formal buildings and huts. Most dwellings are in the form of formal brick structures, such as a house, flat or backyard room. The distribution of dwellings varies by race, with a higher percentage of Blacks living in single rooms, hostels and traditional dwellings, most of which have five rooms or less. In general, non-Black households live in formal structures.

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Sanitation is a major problem as more than 70% of the population uses pit latrines that do not necessarily meet RDP service standards, and thus, pose potential health hazards. Marble Hall, Groblersdal and Burgersfort are the only areas that have solid waste collection services. About 60% of the population have no access to electricity as compared to 37% who enjoy full electricity coverage. The provision of infrastructure is greatly hampered by extensive backlogs, as well as poverty, which limits sustainable provision.

4 .5

Biophysical Characteristics

The biophysical environment encompasses all aspects relating to the natural environment. These include climate, geology, topography and hydrology (both surface and groundwater) and biodiversity.

4.5.1

Climate

Rainfall predominantly falls in the summer months between October and March, with January generally experiencing the heaviest rainfalls (Stimie, et al., 2001). The average rainfall in the Steelpoort sub-catchment ranges between 600 ­ 1,000 mm annually. The upper (southern portion) of the Steelpoort sub-catchment receives the most rainfall, averaging between 800 and 1,000 mm/annum. This decreases towards the middle (northern) portion of the sub-catchment to approximately 700 mm per annum. The middle parts of the Olifants Sub-catchment receive the least rainfall, averaging between 500 and 600 mm per annum. Average daily temperatures in the Steelpoort sub-catchment fluctuate between 19 C and 22 C in summer, o o and 13 C and 19 C in winter. Early morning frost generally occurs in low-lying areas. Prevailing winds blow in a north-westerly and south-easterly direction, with the strongest winds recorded during the summer months.

o o

4.5.2

Topography

The topography of the Olifants WMA ranges from approximately 150 m above sea level in the north-eastern portion, to about 2,400 m above sea level in the southern parts of the WMA. The Steelpoort River passes through the Middleveld whilst the northern portion of the study area is in the Bushveld. The Steelpoort basin lies on an escarpment between 1,500 and 2,400 m above sea level. To the west of the Steelpoort River lie the conspicuous Nebo/Sekhukhune Mountains. The Nebo/Sekhukhuneland plateau is characterized by a circular mountain range on its southern, eastern, and northern side. On the western side, the Nebo Plateau is bounded by the Olifants River. This mountain range is also known as the Leolo Mountains on the eastern and northern side. This grassy plateau slopes westwards, varying in height from 1,800 m in the east, 1,400 m in the centre and 1,100 m in the west, with a dense concentration of villages of the Greater Sekhukhuneland District.

4.5.3

Soils and geology

The northern portion of the Olifants WMA has complex geological features. The upper reaches are underlain by a variety of porous consolidated and partially consolidated sedimentary strata, predominantly sandstones, quartzites and felsites of the Waterberg and Soutpansberg Groups. The Bushveld Igneous Complex is the most prominent geological feature in the WMA, and it contains a large proportion of the region's mineral wealth. This geological feature consists mostly of basic mafic and ultramafic intrusive rocks, and acidic and intermediate intrusive rocks. The middle parts of the Olifants sub-catchment have a variety of geological features. The upper reaches are underlain by acid and intermediate intrusive rocks of the Waterberg Group and mafic and ultramafic formations. The Karoo Supergroup formations consisting of the Lebombo Group and Clarens Formation sandstones, as well as Ecca Group shales, siltstones and mudstones are predominantly in the western portion of the sub-catchment. The central and eastern portions are underlain by a variety of rocks of the Bushveld Igneous Complex. These include the Lebowa Granites, outcrops of the Rashoop Granophyre Suite 21

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and the Rustenberg Layered Suite. The most easterly portion of the sub-catchment is underlain by granitic and gneissic rocks of the Basement Complex. The northern portion of the sub-catchment is underlain by rocks of the Transvaal Sequence, with prominent silicified sandstones and quartzites of the Black Reef Quartzite Formation. Large portions of Chueniespoort dolomites and Pretoria Group shales, hornfels and quartzites also occur in this sub-catchment. Soils of the middle parts of the Olifants sub-catchment vary from shallow to moderately deep sandy-clay loam soils in the west, to deep, black, blocky vertisols in the south-west, to moderate to deep sandy loam soils in the central portions of the sub-catchment. The south-eastern portions of the sub-catchment have shallow, sandy to sandy loam soils, while the northern portions of the sub-catchment have moderate to deep clay loam soils as well as moderately shallow to moderately deep, clayey loam to clay-rich, fine-grained soils over granitic areas. The Steelpoort sub-catchment is characterised by predominantly basic rocks of the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Large mining reserves of the platinum group metals and ferrochrome reserves exist. The Steelpoort River valley is a relatively flat-bottomed and steep-sided valley, orientated in a predominantly north-easterly direction as a result of the Steelpoort Fault. It mainly comprises undulating norite, pyroxenite and magnetite outcrops and hills, and dongas (eroded areas of weak structured soils). The east and west of the Steelpoort River are steep-sided and have hilly and mountainous terrain. The soils of the Steelpoort sub-catchment are divided into three main groups (MMSDsa, 2001). There are moderate to deep, stony sandy-clay loam soils on the foot slopes and the sloping and undulating terrain in the upper reaches of the sub-catchment. There are also shallow to moderately deep clayey loam soils that line the valley bottoms in the middle reaches of the sub-catchment. These are suitable for cultivation. As a result, rain-fed and irrigation agriculture are practiced in this region. The central and lower reaches of the sub-catchment consist of shallow to moderately deep, fine to coarse, sandy alluvial soils lining flood terraces on the river channels.

4.5.4

Hydrology

The Olifants WMA relies on both surface and groundwater for water provision. The Olifants River has numerous tributaries and several dams that supply water in this WMA. In addition, large quantities of water are transferred into the WMA from other catchments. Large quantities of groundwater are also abstracted for use in the Olifants catchment.

4.5.4.1 Surface water

The Olifants River meanders from the Loskop Dam through the relatively flat landscape past the towns of Groblersdal and Marble Hall to Flag Boshielo Dam. From Flag Boshielo Dam, the river flows through the Springbok Flats, which form part of the Bushveld Basin. The Olifants River has a relatively dense network of tributary rivers and streams that feed into it. The Olifants River was once considered as a strong-flowing perennial river, but is now regarded as a weakly perennial river where flows frequently cease (MMSDsa, 2001). Important tributaries in the middle parts of the Olifants sub-catchment include the perennial Elands, Moses, Selons, Bloed and Makhutwi Rivers. The Olifants WMA has a highly developed surface water resource, with several large dams on the Olifants and its tributaries. The Flag Boshielo Dam supplies water to several small towns and settlements in the subcatchment, and also a number of irrigation schemes along the Olifants River. Several other dams in this subcatchment supply water for domestic use, irrigation and also to the mines. Other main storage dams in this sub-catchment include the Rhenosterkop and Rust de Winter dams. The large volumes of water used for irrigation combined with the high evaporative loss, result in little outflows from the middle parts of the Olifants sub-catchment to the Phalaborwa Barrage (MMSDsa, 2001). The Steelpoort sub-catchment consists of the area drained by the Steelpoort River, and its mostly perennial tributaries. Such tributaries include the Klip, Dwars, Waterval and Spekboom Rivers. The Steelpoort River flows north-eastwards through a gorge in the escarpment to join the Olifants River. Flows in the Steelpoort 22

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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River are relatively stable. Estimates in 1999 for runoff in the Steelpoort sub-catchment were 397.9 million 3 m per annum (Stimie et al., 2001). There are several small farm dams in the upper reaches of the Steelpoort River and its tributaries. There are also two small impoundments on the Dwars River that provide water to several small towns and settlements in this sub-catchment (MMSDsa, 2001). The mines in this sub-catchment rely on river flows as well as groundwater supplies. There is a water transfer scheme that transfers water for irrigation from the Steelpoort River sub-catchment to the Blyde River area. Floods are essential for the long-term maintenance of a healthy river ecosystem. Small spates are important for a number of reasons, including the dilution of polluted water, flushing accumulated debris, providing cues for spawning fishes and recharging the groundwater levels on the river banks. Large floods are vital in order to maintain an open and deep river channel and to provide nutrients to floodplains and estuaries. The absence of large floods results in the accumulation of silt in the river that results in the encroachment of reeds and terrestrial vegetation. This reduces the habitat availability for fish species that require deeper or cooler water. Within the Olifants River, floods are generally attenuated by existing large dams. However, a dam on the Steelpoort River will attenuate those floods that, up to the present, have feed into the lower Olifants River system. Potentially, this will have negative ecological consequences for the lower reaches of the river system.

4.5.4.2 Groundwater

Groundwater quality is generally of a high standard in the Olifants WMA, although high iron, nitrate and fluoride concentrations are found in some areas. Large quantities of groundwater are abstracted through boreholes for rural water supply throughout the Olifants WMA, particularly in the middle parts of the Olifants where most of the rural population in the WMA reside. Large quantities of groundwater are also abstracted for irrigation in the Springbok Flats area. (Higher natural recharge of groundwater is presumed to occur in the Springbok Flats area, due to the lack of surface drainage). Substantial potential for increased groundwater utilisation has been identified in the vicinity of Jane Furse, on the Nebo Plateau (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2003). Dolomitic formations containing large quantities of groundwater extend along the Blyde River valley and across the Olifants River, curving westward near the northern border of the water management area. There is strong inter-connectivity between the groundwater in the dolomitic aquifers and surface flow. Ground water inflows from the Chueniespoort dolomite aquifer and Steelpoort alluvium aquifer provide an important component of the water in the Steelpoort River. In the upper reaches of the catchment, ground water is not heavily utilised because of vanadium contamination and possible toxicity. However, numerous settlements in the lower reaches rely on boreholes, springs, and hand-dug wells for domestic water supply. Most of the remainder of the water management area is underlain by hard rock formations, with limited groundwater potential.

4.5.5

The Reserve

According to the National Water Act 1998 (Act No.36 of 1998) a certain portion of the water available in rivers must be allocated to the `Reserve', defined as the quantity and quality of water required to satisfy basic human needs for all people, and to provide sufficient water to sustain aquatic ecosystems (the `Ecological Reserve') in order to ensure that the natural environment continues to meet the demands for ecosystem goods, services and benefits indefinitely. The quantity of water required to satisfy basic human needs is estimated at a minimum of 25 litres per person per day. The Ecological Reserve is defined in the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) as the reservation of a proportion of the river flow to safeguard and maintain the ecological integrity of ecosystems, and protect these aquatic ecosystems so as to ensure ecologically sustainable development. The location of the Kruger National Park downstream of the Olifants WMA imposes certain ecological water requirements that need to

23

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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be met from the Olifants River system. Estimates of the Reserve for the Olifants WMA are presented in Table 2.

Table 2. Natural Mean Annual Runoff and Ecological Reserve (million m /a).

3

Sub area Upper Olifants Middle Olifants Steelpoort Lower Olifants Total

Natural Mean Annual Runoff (MAR) 465 481 396 698 2,040

Ecological Reserve 83 69 94 214 460

% of MAR 17.85 14.35 23.74 30.66 22.55

(Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 2002) 4.5.6 Biodiversity

The middle parts of the Olifants Basin consist of an important ecological transition zone where four separate bio-climatic regions meet. The region also contains several important conservation areas and is considered important in terms of the wide variety and unique features of its flora and fauna. The Steelpoort River passes through a largely modified environment, although there are some natural (unmodified) areas. To the north, the vegetation is almost totally modified, with few natural areas remaining. According to Low and Rebello (1996), the area falls within the Grassland and Savanna Biomes. Grasslands are dominated by a single layer of grasses. The amount of cover depends on rainfall and the degree of grazing. Trees are absent, except in a few localised habitats. Geophytes are often abundant. Frost, fire and grazing maintain the grass dominance and prevent the establishment of trees (Rutherford & Westfall, 1986). Maize, sorghum, wheat and sunflowers are farmed successfully within this Biome. The Savanna Biome is characterised by a grassy ground layer and a distinct upper layer of woody plants. Where this upper layer is near the ground, the vegetation is usually referred to as Shrubveld; where it is dense, it is known as Woodland; and the intermediate stages are locally known as Bushveld. Nationally, much of the biome is used for game farming and can, thus, be considered effectively preserved, provided that sustainable stocking levels are maintained (Low & Rebello, 1996). However, this is not necessarily the case in the study area (van Rooyen, 2003). Most of the riverine habitats in the middle parts of the Olifants sub-catchment are in a poor state, with the exception of the area located upstream of the Rust De Winter Dam, where the Elands River is in a fair state. In-stream biota in the Elands River are in a fair to poor state. Downstream of the Rust De Winter Dam, the river is often dry due to insufficient water releases. This impacts on the in-stream biota, but does not seem to affect riparian vegetation, probably due to the availability of groundwater. In the Steelpoort sub-catchment the escarpment is characterised by Highveld grasslands and mixed Bushveld. The ecological state of the Steelpoort River is considered to be fair. The Spekboom River is in a good state, with riparian vegetation reflecting fair health. There are good fish populations and invertebrates that reflect a relatively natural (unmodified) state of health.

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4.5.6.1 Sekhukhune Centre of Plant Endemism

The Sekhukhune Centre of Plant Endemism is underlain by the Bushveld Igneous Complex and covers an 2 area of approximately 5,449 km . The endemic plants are primarily edaphic specialists (including both herbaceous and woody plants) that are specially adapted for survival in the habitats derived from the unique geology in this area. The Sekhukhune Centre of Plant Endemism is made up of the Roossenekal Subcentre, Leolo Mountain Subcentre and the Steelpoort Subcentre. The Steelpoort Subcentre is located in the larger Steelpoort River valley. The Sekhukhune Centre of Plant Endemism is a unique Kirkia wilmsii-dominated mountain Bushveld, with twenty taxa endemic to this centre and occurring nowhere else.

4.5.7

Cultural Heritage Resources

The study area is known to be rich in cultural heritage and archaeological resources, including graves of recent and less recent origin, some of which may be impacted upon by the proposed ORWRDP. These will be investigated and quantified via a specific Specialist Study that will identify and assess cultural heritage resources.

5.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCESS

The EIA is currently in the Scoping Phase. This is the phase during which issues for further investigation are identified so that they can be considered for inclusion in the Specialist Studies that will be done during the next phase of the EIA, viz. the Impact Assessment Phase. The EIA Team has adopted a robust framework within which environmental aspects arising from or influencing the ORWRDP will be considered. Key elements of the framework are as follows:

q q q q q q

q

The concept of sustainability, which considers the inter-related dimensions of the environment, viz. the social, economic and biophysical dimensions, underpinned by a system of sound governance. The strategic priorities arising from the World Commission on Dams. International considerations in terms of the impact of the project on Mozambique. Integrated planning in terms of Integrated Development Plans, Provincial Development Strategies and the principles and practice of co-operative governance. Downstream considerations particularly as related to the biodiversity, tourism and economics of the Kruger National Park as an economic driver in the eastern region of the country. Legal/statutory requirements of South Africa (specifically, the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998), the Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989), the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998), the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002) (promulgated on 3 May 2004), the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999), and the obligations that are associated with ratification of important international treaties, accords and agreements, for example, the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. The responsibilities linked to the Revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems and the new SADC Water Policy that will need to be signed and ratified by SADC countries.

The proposed De Hoop Dam, associated bulk water transfer infrastructure (three pipelines and associated pump stations) and road realignments are subject to the Environmental Regulations of the Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989). A standard environmental authorisation process is being followed , comprising:

6

6

See Figure 2 for the four main phases.

25

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

q q q q q q q q q

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

Pre-application meeting with the Authorities (National and Provincial). Submission of Application and Plan of Study for Scoping to the Authorities. Scoping Study and preparation of the Draft Scoping Report (this document). Submission of Scoping Report and Plan of Study for EIA to the Authorities. Conducting specialist studies. Compilation of an Environmental Impact Report. Submission of EIR to the Authorities. Record of Decision from the Authorities. Compilation of a comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (to be completed once the Record of Decision has been received from the Authorities).

This DSR concludes the first half of this environmental assessment process, and aims to have captured all the important and significant issues and concerns related to the proposed project that need to be investigated further during the impact assessment phase.

5 .1

Public Participation Process

Public participation is an essential and legislative requirement for environmental authorisation. The principles that demand communication with society at large are best embodied in the principles of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998, Chapter 1), South Africa's overarching environmental law. In addition, the Guideline Document - Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations on the implementation of Sections 21, 22 and 26 of the Environment Conservation Act, guide the public participation process that is required for an EIA. The Generic Public Participation Guidelines 2001 of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry contain further guidelines for public participation. The public participation process for the ORWRDP has been designed to satisfy the requirements laid down in the above legislation and guidelines. Figure 8 provides an overview of the EIA technical and public participation processes, and shows how issues and concerns raised by the public are used to inform the technical investigations of the EIA at various milestones during the process. This section of the report highlights the key elements of the public participation process to date.

5.1.1

Objectives of public participation in an EIA

The objectives of public participation in an EIA are to provide sufficient and accessible information to I&APs in an objective manner to assist them to:

q

During Scoping: § Identify issues of concern, and provide suggestions for enhanced benefits and alternatives. § Contribute local knowledge and experience. § Verify that their issues have been considered. During the Impact Assessment: § Verify that their issues have been considered either by the EIA Specialist Studies, or elsewhere. § Comment on the findings of the EIA, including the measures that have been proposed to enhance positive impacts and reduce or avoid negative ones.

q

The key objective of public participation during Scoping is to help define the scope of the technical studies to be undertaken during the Impact Assessment.

26

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT: EIA PROCESS OVERVIEW

PROVISIONAL SCHEDULE

May/June 2004

TECHNICAL PROCESS

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS

VERIFY / UPDATE DATABASE (1 800) SCREENING PHASE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION ACTIVITIES END OF SCREENING FEEDBACK

SCREENING

28 June ­ 30 July 2004 28 June ­ 16 July 2004

Personalised letters

Meetings Rooipoort Community

Telephone De Hoop Community

OPTIONS REPORT / ISSUES REPORT APPLICATION AND PLAN OF STUDY; AUTHORITIES MEETING INFORMATION GATHERING

21 June 2004 28 June 2004

ANNOUNCE OPPORTUNITY FOR COMMENT

Personalised letter and Media AdvertiseBackground Information Document release ments Posters Public On-site places notices

15 July ­ 6 Aug 2004

COLLATE AND ASSESS INFORMATION PRIORITISE ISSUES

COMMUNITY / FOCUS GROUP MEETINGS (X20) PROGRESS FEEDBACK LETTER AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

Public Review 19 Aug ­ 15 Sept

29 July 2004 19 Aug 2004

SCOPING

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT (Including Issues and Response Report and translated Summary )

Media release/ radio Personalised letters Posters Public places

19 Aug ­ 24 Sept 2004

PUBLIC MEETINGS (24 Aug ­ 2 Sept 2004)

Polokwane Lebowakgomo Burgersfort Mokopane

ACCESS FURTHER INFORMATION; REPRIORITISE ISSUES IF NECESSARY

CONSOLIDATED PROCEEDINGS

(as Issues Report)

Sept - Oct 2004

FINAL SCOPING REPORT

20 July 2004

COMMENCE SPECIALIST STUDIES

PROGRESS FEEDBACK LETTER

End of Scoping (20 Oct 2004)

03 Dec 2004

FINALISE SPECIALIST STUDIES

ISSUES-BASED FOCUS GROUP AND COMMUNITY MEETINGS IF NECESSARY (20 Sept ­ 01 Oct 2004) PROGRESS FEEDBACK LETTER (08 Dec 2004) PROGRESS FEEDBACK LETTER AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF DRAFT EIR

Public Review 09 March ­ 19 April 2005

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Dec ­ Jan 2005

INTEGRATE FINDINGS

DRAFT EIR AND EMP; SPECIALIST STUDIES, SUMMARY AND ISSUES/RESPONSE REPORT (07 March 2005)

Media release Advertisements Posters Public places

07 March ­ 04 May 2005

PUBLIC MEETINGS (28 March ­ 01 April 2005) RE-ASSESS WHERE NECESSARY FINAL EIR AND EMP

Polokwane Lebowakgomo Burgersfort Mokopane

CONSOLIDATED PROCEEDINGS SUBMIT FINAL EIR AND EMP TO AUTHORITIES PROGRESS FEEDBACK RECORD OF DECISION FEEDBACK

(to all 1 800 Stakeholders)

Personalised letter Advertisements

04 May 2005 15 May 2005

DECISION MAKING

17 June 2005

AUTHORITY ROD

Figure 8. Technical and public participation process and activities that comprise the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project.

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5.1.2

Identification of Interested and Affected Parties

The direct mailing list for this EIA consists of almost 2,000 individuals and organisations from both within the project area and beyond its boundaries. These include all those I&APs that expressed an interest during the Screening Phase of the project between January and March 2004. Table 3 shows that these I&APs represent a broad spectrum of sectors of society. Consultation has taken place with representatives of different sectors of society, rather than with every individual in this vast project area. Nevertheless, special efforts have been made to obtain the contributions of all people who may be affected directly by the proposed project, particularly women and the youth. Table 3.

q q q q q q q q q q

Sectors of society represented by I&APs on the direct mailing list

q

National government Provincial government (Limpopo and Mpumalanga) Local government (district as well as local councils) Organised agriculture Business/Commerce Environmental and conservation organisations Engineering Health Industry Education: local schools and universities

Local landowners (De Hoop farm, Tigerpoort farm and Tshehla Trust landowners at the proposed dam site and landowners along the proposed Flag Boshielo/Mokopane pipeline) Local communities, including tribal authorities, women's groups, development committees and other community based organisations (CBOs) along the pipeline routes Media (print and broadcast) Mining

q q q q q q q

Non Government Organisations (NGOs) Ratepayers Associations Researchers and consultants Tourism Transport Labour unions Water organisations (Irrigation Boards, Water Boards, Water Committees, and Water User Associations)

q

q q

5.1.3

Announcement of opportunity to become involved

The opportunity to participate in the EIA was announced in June and early July 2004 in three languages (English, Sepedi and Afrikaans) as follows:

q q

q

q q q q

Telephonic notification to 14 directly affected landowners on the farms directly affected by the proposed dam. Five meetings with the communities of the Rooipoort area to provide background information to the decision to proceed with the proposed De Hoop Dam rather than one in the Rooipoort area (on the Olifants River). Distribution of a letter of invitation to become involved, addressed to individuals and organisations by name, accompanied by a Background Information Document containing details of the proposed project including maps of the project area and the dam site, and a registration sheet (Table 4). Leaving the Background Information Document at 43 public places in the study area (pages v and vi). Advertisements in the media (Table 5). Five project notice boards at prominent localities along roads in the project area (Plate 5). Fifteen sets of large laminated posters erected at selected public places that are frequently visited by local people. Displays included maps of the project area and proposed infrastructure, photographs showing typical pump stations, balancing dams and illustrating the process whereby pipelines are laid, the EIA process, media advertisement with invitation to contribute, a cardboard model of a section of pipeline (1.4 m diameter) and contact details of the public participation office.

In addition to the Background Information Document, a report documenting the outcome of the Screening Phase, providing the rationale for the selection of options included in the proposed configuration of the project, was offered to I&APs. 28

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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5.1.4

Obtaining comment and contributions

The following opportunities were (and remain) available during Scoping for I&APs to contribute comment:

q

Completing and returning registration sheets on which space was provided for comment..

Table 4.

Project announcement distribution data. English Afrikaans Sepedi

Distribution

By mail, leaving in public places and leaving with stakeholders during meetings Almost 2,000 stakeholders on direct mailing list. Six newspapers and three radio stations. 43 Public places (e.g. libraries, post offices, office receptions of stakeholder organisations, etc). During meetings with local communities along pipeline routes. During meetings with local landowners and other stakeholders. Lower Olifants River Forum, Witbank. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry project and study teams. Four public meetings. By electronic forwarding and web-site Department of Water Affairs and Forestry web site (www.dwaf.gov.za). Website address advertised. 300 organisations with request to forward to their members/staff. Contact persons were requested to electronically forward documents. Exact figures difficult to determine but probably in the order of 1,000 ­ 2,000. 225 200 90 25 130 400 60 200 60 200 225 40 70 225 120 130 2,000

Table 5. Advertisements to announce opportunity to contribute to the EIA. Advertisements/announcements Date published/announced Newspapers The Citizen Beeld Northern Review Capricorn Voice Steelburger Bosvelder Monday, 19 July 2004 Tuesday, 20 July 2004 Tuesday, 20 July 2004 Wednesday, 21 July 2004 Friday, 23 July 2004 Friday, 23 July 2004 Radio Stations Munghana Lonene FM, Polokwane Thobela FM, Polokwane Tubatse Community Radio Station, Burgersfort During the week of Monday 26 July 2004 to Friday 30 July 2004 During the week of Monday 26 July 2004 to Friday 30 July 2004 During the week of Monday 26 July 2004 to Friday 30 July 2004

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Plate 5.

View of one of five project notice boards (Jane Furse Municipal Offices)

Plate 6.

View of one of five project notice boards (Flag Boshielo Dam)

q q q q q q

Providing comment telephonically or by email to the public participation office. Five meetings with the Rooipoort communities. Two meetings with directly or potentially directly affected private landowners in the dam site area and along the pipeline routes. 15 meetings with representatives of local communities on communal land along the pipeline routes (including tribal heads, women's groups, and local development groups). Focus group meeting with water quality experts resident in or familiar with the project area. Meeting with lead authority for the EIA, the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the commenting authorities and others, including local authorities.

During these meetings, I&APs raised both environmental technical issues and public participation issues during the Screening Phase from January to March 2004. Issues relevant to the current project configuration have been carried forward into the EIA.

5.1.5

Parallel stakeholder liaison by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

In addition to the public participation process for the EIA, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has initiated several parallel stakeholder liaison initiatives for the project as a whole. Should any issues be identified as being applicable to the EIA during these parallel liaison initiatives, they are incorporated into the EIA on an ongoing basis. Table 6 lists the Department's formal liaison structures for this project, their purpose and representivity. Table 7 lists additional Departmental liaison activities.

5.1.6

Issues and Response Report and acknowledgements

Issues raised thus far, including issues raised during the Screening Phase, are captured in an Issues and Response Report, appended to this DSR (Appendix 1). This report will be updated to include any additional I&AP contributions that may be received as the EIA process proceeds, and as the findings of the EIA become available. The contributions made by I&APs are acknowledged in writing.

5.1.7

Draft Scoping Report

The purpose of the DSR (this report) is to enable I&APs to verify that their contributions have been captured, understood and correctly interpreted, and to raise further issues. At the end of Scoping, the issues identified by the I&APs and by the environmental technical specialists, will be used to define the Terms of Reference for the Specialist Studies that will be conducted during the Impact Assessment Phase of the EIA. A period of

30

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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four weeks is available for public review of this report (from Monday 23 August to Friday 17 September 2004). In addition, a Summary of the DSR has been compiled and translated into Afrikaans and Sepedi, and proactively mailed to all key stakeholders as well as those who requested copies.

Table 6. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry formal liaison structures established for the Olifants River Water Resources Development Project. Liaison Structure Project Strategy Committee Purpose Guidance pertaining to strategic issues related to the project, including international Representivity Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Limpopo Government Mpumalanga Government Treasury Department of Water Affairs and Forestry ­ specifically members that liaise with the Limpopo Basin Permanent Technical Committee Department of Water Affairs and Forestry: Directorates Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provincial Governments Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority Lepelle Northern Water Representatives of mining sector Lebalelo Water User Association Local water service authorities Department of Water Affairs and Forestry: Options Analysis and other nominated members

International Liaison Strategy Committee

Liaison with neighbouring states

Institutional and Finance Strategy Committee Stakeholder Consultative Committee

Strategic guidance relating to the development of institutional arrangements and financing matters To give guidance on the broad direction of the ORWRDP during the preimplementation phases, and to ensure that the interests of key stakeholders are equitably served and addressed

Project Management and Co-ordination Team

To co-ordinate and synchronize all the activities, to ensure efficient communication and to manage components and phases of the project

Table 7.

Departmental stakeholder liaison outside formal structures. Purpose To inform of project; to obtain comment and support; cooperative governance To inform of project; to obtain comment To inform of project; to obtain comment To be informed of water requirements by mining sector; to reach agreement on costs To be informed of water requirements; to reach agreement on off-take points To deliberate road realignments and diversions, and new roads To deliberate electricity requirements and supply To deliberate possible future railway lines in the area To deliberate the Environmental Impact Assessment Activity Written invitations by Director General Various presentations, 23 March 2004 and 22 July 2004 Ministerial address, 9 June 2004 Various meetings Various meetings Various meetings Various meetings Various meetings Various meetings

Sector/Organisation Various National, Provincial and Local Government Authorities Olifants River Forum National Council of Provinces Mining sector Local authorities National and Provincial Roads Authorities Eskom Transnet Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

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OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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In addition to media advertisements to announce the opportunity to participate in the EIA, the opportunity for public review was announced as follows:

q q q

q q q

In the Background Information Document. At landowner, community and other meetings (as outlined previously). In a letter sent out in late July 2004, and addressed personally to almost 2,000 individuals and organisations. The letter included a reply sheet for stakeholders to request their own copies of the report, and to register for one of the four Public Meetings that will be held in late August/early September 2004. Radio announcements on three regional radio stations. Telephone calls to key stakeholder organisations. The Draft Scoping Report, including the Issues and Response Report, and its Summary (in Afrikaans and Sepedi) was distributed for comment as follows: § Left in public places throughout the project area and beyond (Table 8). § Mailed to key stakeholders. § Mailed to I&APs who requested the report. § Distributed at the public meetings (Section 5.1.8). § Posted on the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's web site.

I&APs can comment on the report in various ways, such as completing the comment sheet accompanying the report, submitting individual comments in writing or by email, attending public meetings and one-on-one discussions with members of the EIA team during the meetings.

5.1.8

Public meetings

The purpose of these meetings will be to assist I&APs to comment on the Draft Scoping Report and to add additional issues that may be considered necessary. The contents of the report will be presented verbally during the meetings. Each meeting will also have an open-house, visual component during which smallgroup discussions with members of the EIA team will take place in the language of choice of I&APs. Table 9 lists these meetings, their times and venues. Consolidated proceedings of the four meetings will be distributed to everyone who attended with a request to verify that their contributions were recorded correctly. Any new issues that are raised will be captured in the Final Scoping Report.

Table 8. List of public places in the project area and beyond where Background Information Documents and the Draft Scoping Report were lodged for public review.

LIMPOPO PROVINCE

TOWN/AREA/DISTRICT Burgersfort area, Driekop Burgersfort area, Mecklemburg Burgersfort area, Taung Fetakgomo area, Apel Hoedspruit Jane Furse area, Glen Cowie Jane Furse area, Makhuduthamanga Jane Furse area, Makhuduthamaga Jane Furse area, Makhuduthamaga Jane Furse area, Marulaneng Jane Furse area, Sekhukhune LOCALITY Dilokong Satellite Office Mecklemburg Hospital Taung Clinic Fetakgomo Mini Library Agri Hoedspruit Phokwane Clinic Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality Makhuduthamaga District Clinic Sekhukhune Educare Projects (SEP) Marulaneng Clinic Schoornoot Clinic CONTACT PERSON Mr Lukas Molapo Matron Phala Ms Enicca Mogose Mr Magamorele Hlakudi Mnr Braam van der Merwe Sister Maki Ramasehla Mr Maserumule Matlala Ms Judith Mmantshidi Mrs Emily Magaba Sister Sarah Motubatse Sister Johanna Mohlala TELEPHONE (015) 619 0150 (015) 619 5080 072 532 0329 (015) 622 8000 (015) 795 5861 (013) 264 0113 (013) 265 1177 (013) 265 1000 (013) 265 1350/1 073 356 6740 (013) 260 1032

32

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT TOWN/AREA/DISTRICT Jane Furse area, Sekhukhune Jane Furse area, Sekwati Jane Furse area, Sekwati Lebowakgomo area, Atok Lebowakgomo Mokopane area, Mogalakwena Mokopane area, Potgietersrus Mokopane aera, Potgietersrus Mookgophong Olifantspoort area, Nebo Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane Polokwane area, Seshego Tzaneen area, Letsitele LOCALITY Department Local Govt and Housing Mamone Clinic Mamone Care Group Lebowa Platinum Mine Limpopo Economic Development Enterprise Mogalakwena Municipality South African Post Office Protea Park Hotel Mookgophong Local Municipality Library Klipspruit Clinic Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Polokwane Municipality Bokamoso High School South African Post Office Polokwane Municipality Clinic Seshego Community Library Agri Letaba CONTACT PERSON Mrs Martha Ngoane Sister Selinah Sedibane Mrs Joyce Selala Mr Robbie Nelson Ms Josephine Tambane Mrs Esther Pretorius Mr Joseph Maledimo Mr Simon Sutherland Mrs Estelle Owen Sister Clara Boshiela Ms Sarah Mamabolo Mr Koot Jacobs Mrs Melita Mogashoa Ms Gladys Mooki Ms Sarie Potgieter Mr Stephens Chipana Mr Louis van Rooyen

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

TELEPHONE (013) 260 1776 (013) 219 7216 084 751 6675 (015) 620 0020 (015) 633 5660 (015) 491 9739/ 9600 (015) 491 4141 (015) 491 3101 (015) 743 1111 (013) 263 1177 (015) 290 1444 (015) 290 2151 (015) 223 6888 (015) 292 0049 (015) 290 2360 (015) 223 0864/ 0862 (015) 345 1817

MPUMALANGA PROVINCE

TOWN/AREA/DISTRICT Burgersfort Burgersfort Burgersfor area, Driekop Burgersfort area, Lebalelo Groblersdal area, Elandsdoorn Groblersdal Groblersdal Jane Furse area, Ga-Marishane Jane Furse area, Sekhukhune Marble Hall area, Elandskraal Marble Hall Nelspruit Roossenekal Roossenekal Steelpoort LOCALITY Burgersfort Clinic GREATER TUBATSE MUNICIPALITY Roka-Mashishi Tribal Authority Lebalelo Water User Association Elandsdoorn Clinic Groblersdal Public Library Ikageng Development Forum Phakgamang Community Resource Centre Tshehla Trust Office Tompi Seleka Agricultural College Marble Hall Library Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Roossenekal Post Office Roossenekal Public Library Steelpoort Post Office CONTACT PERSON Mrs Cecilia Nchabeleng Ms Sheila Nkonyane Kgosi Solomon Mashishi Mr Malcolm Sales Ms Marianne Moller Mrs Judy du Plessis Mr Aaron Tlaka Mr Solomon Tjatji Mr Sunset Mmushi Mr S.N Sithomela Ms Refilwe Boroko Mr Johan van Aswegen Mrs Mirriam Khumalo Ms Jana Spangler Ms Frieda Teffo TELEPHONE (013) 231 7843 (013) 231 7815 (013) 214 7114 (013) 216 3101 (013) 980 0014 (013) 262 3056 (013) 264 9403 (013) 219 7008 072 721 8244 (013) 268 9300 (013) 261 1151 (013) 759 7304 (013) 273 0009 013) 273 0056 (013) 230 9105

33

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT Table 9. Public meetings to comment on the Draft Scoping Report.

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

Date Tuesday 24 August 2004 Wednesday 25 August 2004 Wednesday 1 September 2004 Thursday 2 September 2004

Venue Open House The Park Hotel Mokopane The Golden Pillow Polokwane Civic Centre Hall Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality Lebowakgomo The Municipal Chamber Greater Tubatse Municipality Burgersfort 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00 08:30 ­ 09:30 13:00 ­ 14:00

Time Public Meeting 09:30 ­ 13:00 09:30 ­ 13:00 09:30 ­ 13:00

09:30 ­ 13:00

5.1.9

Final Scoping Report

The Final Scoping Report will be prepared after the public meetings. It will be updated with any additional issues raised by I&APs and will contain any new information that may have been generated as a result of this process. It will be distributed to the Authorities and key I&APs, and to those individuals who specifically request a copy. I&APs will be notified of the availability of the report. Once the lead authority for the EIA has approved the Final Scoping Report, the Impact Assessment Phase of the EIA will commence. This will comprise various Specialist Studies to assess the potential positive and negative impacts of the proposed project, and to recommend appropriate measures to enhance positive impacts and avoid or reduce negative ones. I&APs will be kept informed of progress with these studies.

5.1.10

Public participation during the Impact Assessment

Public participation during the impact assessment phase of the EIA will mainly involve a review of the findings of the EIA, presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Report, a Summary Report of the Draft EIR, and the volume of Specialist Studies. These reports will be made available in the first quarter of 2005. I&APs will be advised in good time of the availability of these reports, how to obtain them, and the dates and venues of public and other meetings where the contents of the reports will be presented for comment.

5 .2

Technical Scoping Process

During Scoping, the project and studies to be undertaken must be defined in a way that will result in a thorough and scientifically defensible EIR, to ensure that if the proposed project proceeds, it does so in an environmentally sound manner. The technical process needs to provide scientifically sound information on issues of concern relating to the proposed developments, and must also identify all significant issues that need to be addressed by Specialist Studies during the Impact Assessment. Issues of concern have to be identified and assessed with regard to the significance of potential impacts. As such, the technical process comprised the following activities.

5.2.1

Information gathering

Information gathering focussed on gaining an understanding of the environmental context and status in order to: 34

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q q

Identify and assess the significance of environmentally related issues of concern. Focus and tailor the scope of work for Specialist Studies to address each issue of concern identified during Scoping.

The information-gathering phase included input from the project proponent, the technical team, specialists and the public participation programme.

5.2.2

Assessment and collation of information

The information obtained was collated and assessed to gain an understanding of the environmental context and status. The collation and assessment of information included the following activities:

q q q q

Determining the limits, constraints and provisions applying to information. Checking and verifying the integrity and reliability of information. Agreeing on terminology and nomenclature. Determining shortcomings in information.

5.2.3

Evaluation and prioritisation of issues and impacts

The issues and impacts raised during the technical and public participation processes were collated, grouped on the basis of their underlying potential impacts, and evaluated in terms of their significance and need to be further investigated during the Impact Assessment. In conformance with the requirements of Environment Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989), careful attention was paid to cumulative impacts, and those impacts that may be expressed at a location that is far from where the original activity occurred, or where an impact may only be experienced at some future date. Once the issues and impacts had been defined and evaluated in terms of the criteria, a process of prioritisation was follow. Prioritisation was based on professional judgment, and also took into account the importance placed on each issue by stakeholders. The significance of an impact was determined by incorporating various criteria (nature of impact, extent, duration, intensity and probability of occurrence). By addressing issues of uncertainty in the preliminary assessment of impacts, it was anticipated that the major significant impacts would emerge. These significant issues are to be addressed in the Impact Assessment. Impacts that were considered less significant or not significant are to be addressed in commensurately less detail or they will be eliminated. An impact is described as `low' where it is considered unlikely to have an influence on the decision, `medium' where it should have an influence on the decision unless it is mitigated, or `high' where it should influence the decision regardless of any possible mitigation. Issues and potential impacts are described and discussed in Section 6. Section 7 provides information on how these issues and potential impacts will be investigated during the Impact Assessment. Approximate timings of when different activities will occur are also provided.

6.

DESCRIPTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND POTENTIAL IMPACTS

Consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998), the term `environment' is used in its broadest sense, incorporating not only the physical and biological environment, but also, for example, the social, economic, cultural and legal environments. As mentioned previously, the aim of Scoping is to identify, record and examine the issues raised by stakeholders and specialists in regard to the proposed infrastructure, including borrow areas that are subject to a separate regulatory procedure, and best practise water resource development. This identification and examination enables the EIA Team to focus the Specialist Studies and provide a framework for the Impact 35

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Assessment, addressing effects of the proposed project on the environment, as well as effects from the environment on the proposed project. Appendix 1 contains a record of all issues that have been raised to date. The EIA Team has examined and prioritised these issues to distil six key issues, viz. the potential impact of the ORWRDP:

q q q q q q

On the quantity and quality of river flows. On the aquatic and terrestrial ecology, particularly that of the proposed dam site. On long-term sustainability and water demand management. On integrated Development Planning within the project area. In terms of minimising construction related impacts. As related to compensation and resettlement.

6 .1

Discussion of Key Issues

To provide the background and a comprehensive understanding of the key issues, a brief discussion of each issue is provided here. This will enable stakeholders to verify and/or comment on the broad scopes of work of the Specialist Studies that are summarized in Section 7.

6.1.1

Impact on the quantity and quality of river flows

River systems are interlinked and the construction of a new dam on the Steelpoort River will impact upon the quantity of water flowing in the Olifants River. Water quality is closely linked to water quantity as reduced volumes potentially result in increased concentrations of pollutants. The primary issue of concern is that of sustainable water resource use that is fundamental to the entire proposed ORWRDP. Understanding impacts on the quantity and quality of river flows requires unpacking a number of separate but related aspects.

q

Implementation of the Reserve.

The Reserve for the Olifants River has been determined. However, a general opinion of key stakeholders is that sufficient water to achieve objectives is not being released or realised. There are two points of consideration. Firstly, many of the dams constructed prior to the conceptualisation of the Reserve and its determination for various river systems, simply do not have the physical infrastructural attributes to release the quantities of water required. This is because these dams were not designed with these kinds of water releases in mind. Further, it is not a simple matter to redesign and reconstruct existing infrastructure. Secondly, and by implication, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry needs to meet Reserve requirements by other means, one of which is compulsory licensing. However, an appropriate mechanism for water allocation and water licensing that will ensure that irrigators and other water users do not take more than their allocation from rivers, still needs to be developed and implemented. To give real meaning to the Reserve, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry needs to establish regulatory and compliance frameworks that use incentives and sanctions to ensure effectiveness and compliance. There are no quick or easy solutions to problems associated with meeting the Reserve. Yet, importantly, stakeholders see the Reserve as a commitment from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to manage the river system according to a certain agreed standard, and it is this commitment that needs to be met. The proposed new dam on the Steelpoort River will be designed to release the volumes of water needed to meet Reserve requirements for the Steelpoort River down to its confluence with the Olifants River. However, the proposed new dam will also make it more difficult for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to meet the Reserve requirements of the lower Olifants River that are important for the whole river system, not least of which are the downstream- and end-users, notably, the Kruger National Park and Mozambique, respectively. It should be noted, however, that the proposed De Hoop Dam will regulate only a portion of the Steelpoort catchment. The remainder of the catchment, therefore, remains unregulated and, excluding run of river abstractions, can contribute to the Reserve, including water requirements of the Kruger National Park.

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q

Mining impacts on water quality.

The water quality and health of the river ecosystem are likely to be placed under further stress, particularly with the pressure of new mining developments and reduced river flows. As stated in the WCD strategy, `any options assessment and decision-making must prioritise the avoidance of impacts, followed by the minimisation and mitigation of harm to the health and integrity of the river system'. Ensuring that water quality is improved or sustained with new developments in the region must be a vital component of the final development proposals. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, through the ORWRDP, cannot afford to provide additional water to enable new mines to develop or existing mines to expand without recognising and addressing the issue that reduced water and increased mining pollutants (for example, acid rock mine drainage) will impact on the long-term water quality of the Olifants River system.

q

Downstream impacts.

A reduction in the quantity and quality of the water in the Olifants River system will potentially impact upon downstream users. In particular, there are two downstream users that are very important and need to be considered in terms of South Africa's international obligations. The provisions of treaties with Mozambique need to be met. This requires that developments in South Africa do not have an adverse impact or foreclose future development opportunities of or within Mozambique. The sharing of rivers for development and security is a key strategy arising from the WCD. South Africa needs to discuss and negotiate with Mozambique the available water resources in the basin and the development options that each country wishes to pursue. South Africa, as the largest economic power in the region, needs to act responsibly. In this regard, the EIA Team understands that the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is following the recommendations and conditions contained within the Revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses. South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (1992) and has accepted that it has a national and international responsibility to maintain the country's biodiversity. This would refer, in particular, to the Kruger National Park and its ecosystems that potentially could be affected by the proposed project. The cumulative impact of further development in the basin needs to be considered as well as the long-term water pollution problems that may arise from mining development, even after the mines are decommissioned at the end of their economic life. These matters are not only important in terms of international agreements but also in terms of protecting the biophysical resources of one of South Africa's premier tourist destinations. As recognised by the WCD, economic benefits too often incur an unacceptable and often unnecessary cost, especially in social and environmental terms. The benefits of mining in this region are large and well known. However, the Kruger National Park and other downstream users also make significant contributions to the national economy. Indeed, the Kruger National Park is a current major economic driver in this part of the country. These benefits must also be recognised and care should be taken to avoid or minimise one sector of society paying for the benefits of another.

6.1.2

Aquatic and terrestrial ecology

The proposed De Hoop Dam will potentially affect the aquatic and terrestrial ecological environments within which it is to be located. This is because the proposed dam will be located within the Sekhukhune Centre of Plant Endemism, with close floristic links, (in terms of the plant genera and species represented), to the Wolkberg and Barberton Centres of Plant Endemism, as defined by Van Wyk & Smith (2001). This floral region around the proposed dam site is characterised by the presence of several endemic species of plants that, it is believed, are found nowhere else on earth. These unusual species are typically confined to small areas of specialised habitat located on the crests and flanks of the more mountainous ridges, with few examples of endemic species found along the streams and rivers that flow along the valley bottoms.

37

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Most of the vegetation along the bottom of the river valley consists of patches of natural bushveld vegetation interspersed with small areas of cultivation and is also characterised by the presence of many alien invasive plant species (for example, Lantana camara, Opuntia spp., Sesbania spp., Solanum spp., etc.). In addition, the riparian vegetation along the banks of the Steelpoort River and some of its tributary streams consists of well developed riparian woodland that, at the site of the proposed De Hoop Dam, is dominated by outstanding examples of Monkey Thorn (Acacia galpinii). These large trees are considered to be amongst the best examples of the species to be found in the Olifants basin (G. Batchelor, Environmental Affairs: Mpumalanga, personal communication). Depending on the final size, the proposed dam would inundate between 11.9 and 14 kilometres of the Steelpoort River and riparian woodland. The significance of this potential impact can only be determined when the uniqueness of the portion of riparian vegetation to be lost is evaluated in terms of the extent of this vegetation type in the Steelpoort Valley. This will be confirmed via a Specialist Study during the Impact Assessment. The proposed dam will also interrupt the up- and down-stream movements of aquatic organisms. In particular, many fish species rely on their ability to move between suitable habitats to survive unfavourable seasonal flow regimes, or for breeding purposes. Where such movements are impeded or curtailed, the available habitat is often insufficient to allow these species to survive seasonal extremes of flow, and prevents movements towards and from suitable breeding sites. Although there are no known endemic species of fish in the Steelpoort River, the South African distribution of two species of small minnows, Barbus brevipinnis (Shortfin Barb) and Barbus neefi (Sidespot Barb), are restricted to the Steelpoort and lower Olifants Rivers (Skelton, 1993). The construction of the proposed dam will halt fish movements on either side of the dam wall and will result in `confined' populations in the reaches upstream of the dam site. However, the construction of the proposed dam is not expected to have widespread adverse affects on fish species other than perhaps these two Barbus species. In extreme cases, such as hot summer months with low wind speeds that do not ensure mixing of the water column in the dam, anaerobic conditions could occur in the cooler, deeper waters. The release of this colder, anaerobic, nutrient-rich water potentially could have negative affects on downstream aquatic ecosystems and aquatic organisms. The available information on mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians suggests that there are no endemic species or representatives of these groups in the Steelpoort River system. Thus, it appears, that the proposed De Hoop Dam will not cause the loss of particular species from vulnerable or endangered populations of organisms. However, it also acknowledged that the information available on these groups of organisms from the Steelpoort River system is scanty and, therefore, requires confirmation by Specialists during the Impact Assessment. A range of other potential environmental impacts are likely, but these are more characteristic of dams, in general, than specific to the proposed De Hoop Dam. These include impacts such as: water quality changes due to physical, chemical and biological processes; sediments and nutrients being trapped in the dam basin; and green and blue-green algal blooms. Importantly, the significance of potential impacts will depend on the final size of the proposed dam as well as future dam operating rules, and possible upstream land use effects on the quality of water flowing into the proposed new dam.

6.1.3

Long-term sustainability and water demand management

The purpose and need of any water resource development project is defined by the water needs and demands of an area. The two approaches to addressing the problems are either to meet the demand (a supply-side solution) or to reduce the demand (demand-side management). The Olifants River WMA, as well as the Sand and Mogalakwena River Catchments, are already heavily utilised and yet the aim of this project is to supply additional resources from which water can be abstracted. The ability of the catchment environment to continue to support supply-side solutions to meet water demand requirements is diminishing and cannot be considered sustainable in the long-term. 38

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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One of the key strategic priorities that emerged from the WCD is that alternatives to dams often do exist. A key aspect that is often neglected in South Africa is a focus on water demand management and water conservation. Increased attention must be paid to the implementation of effective water saving and reuse techniques, and water use efficiency improvements. It is possible for the mines to introduce additional water saving technologies that would reduce water consumption and alleviate the need for supply-side solutions to water resources management. Water saving strategies are required in towns and urban areas. Although this may be a municipal function, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry should take the lead in initiating this focus, supplying the technical guidance and facilitating the funding as part of its responsibility for National Water Resource Management. The irrigation sector consumes 57% of the available water and needs to seriously consider improved efficiencies through technological improvements. Furthermore, mining operations need to implement additional recycling and reuse technologies. This has been recognised by the mining organisations and new mining operations plan to implement intensive water recycling and reuse, both on-site and by accepting treated municipal wastewater for use in process requirements. Essentially, the true cost of water needs to be realised by the sector that uses it. This is a particularly important consideration for the current project in terms of the various mining developments. The development of the mines will be a huge economic boost for the region in terms of economic development. However, the mines will delay their development or expansion plans due to a range of factors such as world metal prices, exchange rates, etc., if they are not economically favourable. Another factor that should be added to the cost of development is the true cost of water. In this situation, it is likely that some mines may delay their development until the economic climate is more favourable or implement further water saving processes. It is recognised that, on their own, water conservation and demand management may still not meet the needs for additional water in the middle parts of the Olifants River system, especially the large volumes of water that will be needed to ensure that development can proceed during the next few years. However, by drawing on the best local and international experience, a comprehensive water demand management plan needs to be part of the solution, with water quantities, targets, timeframes and financial commitments from all parties, including mines, municipalities, organised irrigated agriculture and government.

6.1.4

Integrated Development Planning within the project area

There are a number of separate components to this issue.

q

Capacity of the area to handle an influx of people.

The construction of a dam and increased mining development in the region is likely to result in a large influx of temporary job seekers as well as the establishment of longer-term businesses and support service providers. The social services of the area, in terms of health, waste disposal, schooling, housing, security and welfare will need to accommodate this influx of people. A failure to ensure proper planning and service provision is expected to have negative biophysical and social impacts for the region. The service capacity also needs to be considered during the construction phase. The housing, water and sewage, health-care and emergency services of the area may be insufficient, of an unacceptably low standard or too far away to be effective for a large construction project.

q

HIV/AIDS.

There can be little argument about the vagaries of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South and Southern Africa. Its effects are crippling and, particularly vulnerable are those poor, under-nourished persons who are already compromised by poverty.

39

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A relatively high incidence of HIV/AIDS is anticipated amongst the receiving social environment in the study area. An influx of people to the area, with increased anti-social behaviour, including prostitution and drug taking, is expected to exacerbate existing problems associated with the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The magnitude and enormity of the problem cannot be under estimated. Particular attention will need to be paid to HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment, primarily during construction when significant numbers of migrant workers will be on-site (construction workers, transporters delivering goods and services, informal traders/vendors, etc.) as well as post-construction. HIV/AIDS may also impact on the construction programmes for the proposed dam, pipelines and appurtenant works. This is because construction workers may become ill, could take longer than anticipated days off on sick leave, or they may become ill to the extent that they cannot continue working. Implicit in the above is a need for continual on-site training to minimise disruptions to construction schedules. However, provided there is adequate and co-ordinated planning and development, the overall impact of the proposed project could be positive in terms of the social, socio-economic and economic development of the wider study area, particularly in so far as the proposed development intervention contributes to the development of social infrastructure and services on a regional scale.

q

Regional economy after the mining boom.

Whilst it may be outside the specific mandate of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, it is important that both project proponent and the authorities, who act as custodians of the receiving environment, consider options that will ensure some form of sustainability once the mineral resources of the area have been utilised. Mining, by its very nature, is not a long-term activity, but is usually a middle-term economic activity that, once completed, will provide no further economic benefit to an area. The development of large towns and their associated infrastructure, with little economic base apart from mining, potentially could result in Limpopo having a `ghost town' problem in a few decades when the mines close down. Careful integrated planning is required to ensure that these impacts are minimised as far as possible.

q

Provision of domestic water.

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is responsible for ensuring the provision of bulk water, whilst local municipalities are responsible for distributing this water, in treated form, to its residents within their areas of jurisdiction. However, there are several capacity and financial constraints that often prevent or preclude municipalities from fulfilling these responsibilities. It is in the best interests (social, health and political) of the region that assistance be provided to the municipalities to manage and overcome these problems.

6.1.5

Minimising construction related impacts

There are a range of impacts that potentially will occur during construction, perhaps with some after-effects continuing during operation, that need to be considered and addressed.

q

Affects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

The key construction impacts relate to the loss of terrestrial habitat, most of it on a permanent basis, and disruptions to aquatic ecosystems at the wall site and downstream for some distance. While these can be managed and mitigated, the affects are real.

q

Influx of people and social problems during construction.

People are expected to migrate to the construction sites to seek work or to supply goods and services to those working on the construction sites. Very often, these vendors will set up their own informal settlements close to the construction site. Increased incidences of disease, crime, anti-social behaviour, linked with poor 40

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services (for example, waste disposal and poor sanitation) are problems related to these kinds of informal settlements.

q

Increased road traffic.

During construction, there will be a significant increase in traffic throughout the project area and, in particular, along the R555 to the dam site. This increased traffic could result in additional vehicle accidents, loss of life, and incidences of road rage caused by frustrations arising from slow-moving traffic on steep gradients. In addition, there are likely to be periods of traffic congestion whilst the road is re-aligned around the dam construction site. It is likely that the final construction campsite will be located closer to one of the existing towns, which will mean that labour will need to be transported to and from site on a 24-hour shift basis.

q

Dust and noise.

It is anticipated that there will be an increase in dust and noise during the construction period. This could affect some of the landowners located close to the dam wall site and will certainly affect any homes and business premises close to the pipeline routes. The pipeline route will cross a large number of areas where blasting is possible, resulting in potential structural and/or nuisance impacts for nearby residents.

q

Loss of Tshehla Trust Land.

The site of the dam wall is on the property of the Tshehla Trust beneficiaries. The Trust is concerned that the road and construction camp requirements will take up more of their land in addition to the dam wall. This impact will need to be minimised where possible.

q

Employment.

However, on a positive note, the proposed construction of the De Hoop Dam and associated National Bulk Water Infrastructure will create significant employment opportunities, directly associated with construction activities, secondarily in the provision of goods and services, and, also, within the mining and industrial sectors through the use of water provided from the bulk infrastructure. The proposed project is also expected to result in the economic stimulation of the region.

6.1.6

Compensation and resettlement

Compensation will be required in terms of the following impacts:

q q q q q q

Inundation of private or trust land and private infrastructure at the dam, or loss of land and facilities along the pipelines or at pump station sites. Compensation for portions of private land affected by the road realignment. Compensation for portions of land that are no longer economically viable units after being segmented to provide appropriate servitudes. Restoration of access to properties. Compensation for crops damaged or loss of productive capacity during one or more growing season, or loss of livestock due to damage to fences. Compensation for the relocation of graves, including exhumation and reburial.

It is anticipated that compensation negotiations with private landowners in the dam basin will be relatively uncomplicated. In contrast, it is anticipated that the compensation process along the pipeline routes will be more difficult. Even if the pipelines are constructed within or as close to existing road reserves as possible, they are still expected to impact upon a large number of people. In many cases where the pipeline is to be constructed, the areas are built up (with infrastructure such as fences, gates, toilets, garages, business premises and homes) and are cultivated (with annual, for example, maize, and perennial, for example, fruit trees, crops). All these entities will need to be enumerated and compensated. 41

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In addition, service (mainly water and electricity) interruptions are expected during construction, again, mainly related to the pipelines. When such interruptions occur, services will need to be restored as a matter of priority. The relocation of graves requires a range of approvals from government departments and next-of-kin. Various ceremonial requirements will also need to be met, as well as identifying suitable areas for re-burial.

6 .2

Other Issues

A number of other issues have also been identified. Although they are not considered key issues, they will still need to be considered and addressed by the different Specialists and dealt with in the EIR. These issues include the following:

q

q q q q

How can issues of land care in the catchment be dealt with in a structured manner that will help to reduce soil and sediment losses, improve water quality, prevent the erosion of stream banks, and minimise siltation within the proposed dam? What archaeological sites or sites of cultural importance will be impacted by the project? How will the spread of alien plant species be controlled around the dam and the construction sites? What is the relationship between ground- and surface-water? What is the status of mineral rights and land claims in the dam basin and along the pipeline routes?

7.

OVERARCHING SCOPE OF THE SPECIALIST STUDIES

Issues of concern that require further investigation, as described in Section 6, will be taken forward for further investigation during the impact assessment phase. The Impact Assessment will attempt to quantify and recommend mitigation measures to address all issues through an integrated approach that considers direct, secondary and cumulative impacts wherever possible. The Impact Assessment will consider impacts associated with all aspects of the construction and operation of the proposed infrastructure.

7 .1

Specialist Studies

In order to evaluate the issues and recommend mitigation measures (i.e. measures to avoid or reduce negative impacts, and to enhance positive impacts), a number of Specialist Studies will be commissioned. These studies will address the issues from different subject or discipline perspectives. Some of the Specialists will be appointed directly as part of the EIA Team, whilst a number of issues (in particular, the non-regulated aspects of the investigation) will be evaluated by Departmental officials and ORWRDP team members. Importantly, all information obtained form the regulated and non-regulated studies will be used to address the issues in an holistic and integrated manner, the results of which will be fed into the Environmental Impact Report. Furthermore, each specialist, where applicable, will need to consider the impacts associated with each project component, i.e. the dam basin, road realignments, pipelines and pump stations, and borrow pits and quarries. The potential impacts on biodiversity and the other impacts will need to be assessed separately for construction and operation. The Specialist Studies and their broad scopes are as follows:

q

Water Quality. § To review current ground and surface water quality problems and recommend strategies for improvement. § To consider the impacts of new developments on the regional groundwater and surface water quality for downstream users, in particular the Kruger National Park and Mozambique.

42

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§

§

q

To review and assess which focus areas, such as old mines, rural land care practises etc. in the catchment currently have a direct and significant influence on water quality and sedimentation. Recommend a strategy and practical programme of actions to improve the areas identified.

Social Impact Assessment. § Detail the land use, landowners and general environment of the dam basin. § Review the social impacts of the dam in terms of resettlement and compensation costs, access difficulties and mineral rights forfeited, induced migration and construction camps. § Recommend suitable mitigation measures. § Provide input and recommendations on the road realignments and other associated infrastructure (pump stations, pipe lines, etc.) from a social impact perspective. Vegetation/Terrestrial Ecosystems. § Describe the fauna and flora environment of the dam basin. § Review the biophysical impacts of the dam in terms of species lost and the significance of this within their population and habitat range. § Review the biophysical impact that the project may have on the vegetation and fauna of the Kruger National Park. § Recommend suitable mitigation measures. § Provide input and recommendations on the road realignments and other associated infrastructure (pump stations, pipes etc.) and borrow areas from a biophysical impact perspective. § To provide input and assistance into the findings in terms of water quality. Aquatic Ecosystems. § Describe the aquatic environment of the Steelpoort River and surrounds. § Review the impacts of the dam in terms of species migration and species introduction and the significance of potential impacts. § Review the impact that the project may have on the aquatic ecology of the Kruger National Park. § Recommend suitable mitigation measures. § To provide input and assistance into the findings in terms of water quality. Cultural Heritage Assessment. § To identify, map and rate the significance of any archaeological, religious or cultural sites of importance found in the dam basin, along road or pipeline routes and affected by borrow areas. § To recommend mitigation measures in terms of the current legislation governing Cultural Heritage sites. Visual Impact Assessment. § To assess the visual impact of the proposed De Hoop Dam, road realignments and other project related items, such as pump stations and borrow areas, on the surrounding area. § Recommend relevant mitigation measures. Transport Impact Assessment. § To review the impact of transport activities required for construction on other road users and road surfaces. § To recommend suitable mitigation measures. Air Quality. § To assess the impacts of dust and construction activities that may impact air quality on the surrounding population and on surrounding ecosystems. § To recommend suitable mitigation measures. Noise Impact Assessment. § To assess the impacts of construction noise and pump station operational noise on the surrounding population. 43

q

q

q

q

q

q

q

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

§

q

To recommend suitable mitigation measures.

Health Impact Assessment. § To assess the impacts of increased water borne diseases as a result of the project. § To assess the impact of the influx of construction teams and job-seekers on the local inhabitants health and social welfare, including HIV/AIDS. § To recommend suitable mitigation measures. Resource Economics. § To review the direct costs of water resources used by agriculture and mining, respectively, against the direct value each sector adds to these resources. § To review the indirect costs of social benefits, environmental pollution, health problems and long-term sustainability of the irrigation and mining sectors, respectively, against the direct value each sector contributes to the economy.

q

Non-regulated studies that form part of the larger ORWRDP investigations, that will need to feed back information into the EIA, are as follows:

q

Water Conservation/Recycling. § To review the success of water conservation strategies in other parts of the world and Southern Africa. § To investigate strategies, targets and timeframes by which the different sectors in the middle parts of the Olifants River Catchment area, viz. mining, agriculture, industry and domestic users, can implement water conservation measures. § To determine the realistic success factors and water-use estimates that each user group will be able to meet. § To provide a detailed budget and programme for implementation to ensure these savings can address some of the short- and long-term water requirements of the area. Institutional and Legislative Requirements. § To investigate how compliance with the Reserve, international obligations and private water allocations can be enforced and where problem areas in the catchment need to be addressed. § To review the institutional capacity required to manage the rapid developments in the area in terms of a total response to the development and water needs and constraints. Agriculture and Agricultural Economics. To investigate ways in which the irrigation sector can release water allocations through: § Improved water-use efficiencies without significantly impacting the agricultural economy of the region. § Furthering the aims of the Land Reform Programme by purchasing farms and retraining farm labourers. § Review agricultural and land-care improvement strategies with the Water Quality specialist. Cost Benefit Analysis for the regional and national economy of developing water resources. § Review the short-term benefit/cost of supplying additional Vaal River water to the Olifants River Catchment for current developments. This study must link into the Regional Economic Assessment. § Review the long-term benefit/cost of supplying additional Vaal River water to the Olifants River Catchment in terms of the National Water Resources Strategy and the downstream users of the Olifants River. Regional Economics Study. § Describe the receiving environment from a economic and socio-economic perspective and to identify, analyse and assess opportunities (including employment) and constraints arising from or potentially limiting to the ORWRDP. § Assess the development impact of the ORWRDP on the economy of the region (including improvement of the tax base), which will form an important component for establishing the overall feasibility of the project. § Assess the impact on the Gross Geographical Product and the Gross Domestic Product. 44

q

q

q

q

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

§

To identify and evaluate the potential economic benefits to Mozambique which could result from the project.

These matters will be addressed to the extent that they inform decision-making for the current project proposal.

7.1.1

Borrow area investigations

The option of mine waste rock material being used, the selection between alternative borrow areas, and the use of the dam basin borrow areas are all options under consideration and, where applicable, authorisation will be requested from DME by: q Identifying environmental flaws linked to possible borrow pits and quarry areas. q Recommending areas that may be used for construction purposes. q Specifying rehabilitation requirements. q Compiling the necessary documentation for the consideration of DME.

7 .2

Integration and impact description

Once the specialist investigations have been completed, a team integration meeting will be held where the EIA Team, in conjunction with the Specialists, will discuss the integration and linkages between disciplines as they pertain to issues and potential impacts. Thereafter, an Environmental Impact Report will be prepared to cover the following:

q q q q

q q q

A description of the project, together with a motivation for the project and details of the alternatives that were investigated. A description of the general environment (social, biophysical, political, etc). Impacts and issues identified. An assessment of the significance of these impacts according to standard assessment criteria (nature, extent, duration, intensity, probability and significance). These impacts will be assessed with and without taking cognisance of recommended mitigation measures. Recommended mitigation measures. Framework for an Environmental Management Plan. A review of the public participation process and Specialist Study reports will be collated as a suite of appendices.

A detailed EMP for construction, incorporating recommended mitigation measures, will be compiled as a separate document and its publication will follow the issuing of a Record of Decision (RoD) by the Authorities to enable the inclusion of RoD conditions within the EMP. The EMP will be legally binding on the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, and its contractors.

7 .3

Programme

Following the comment period for the DSR, the issues raised by stakeholders, together with those of technical specialists and the regulatory authorities, will be captured in a Final Scoping Report. The Final Scoping Report will be issued by late September 2004 to those stakeholders who request a copy. The Final Scoping Report will be used to define the scope of work for the second phase of the EIA, when the potential impacts of the proposed development on the environmental and socio-economic status of the study area will be examined in detail. In this way, the issues of stakeholders will assist to drive the EIA process. The Specialist Studies will be conducted from October 2004 to December 2004. The Draft Environmental Impact Report is scheduled for one month of public review during March 2005. Thereafter, it will be finalised and submitted to the Authorities for decision-making. A RoD from the Authorities is anticipated by June 2005, which, if positive, would enable the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to commence construction during the second half of 2005.

45

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

The EMP for construction, incorporating recommended mitigation measures, will be compiled as a separate document and its publication will follow the issuing of a RoD by the Authorities. This will enable the inclusion of conditions to the RoD within the EMP. The EMP will be legally binding on the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, and its contractors. Thus, the current programme aims to complete Scoping by late-September 2004. Specialist Studies will be undertaken from October 2004 to December 2004. Thereafter, the draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report will be prepared and submitted for public review and comment during March 2005. One month has been allowed for public comments (including four public meetings to discuss the Draft Environmental Impact Report), after which the report will be finalised for submission to the Authorities. Key activities and anticipated time frames are shown in Table 10 and Figure 9.

Table 10. Key activities and anticipated time frames.

Activity Submit Draft Scoping Report for Public Review Public Meetings for Draft Scoping Report Submit Final Scoping Report and Plan of Study for the Impact Assessment to the Authorities Specialist Study Investigations Preparation of Draft Environmental Impact Report Submit Draft Environmental Impact Report for Public Review Public Meetings for Draft Environmental Impact Report Submit Final Environmental Impact Report to the Authorities Record of Decision

Anticipated Dates Mid August 2004 End August 2004/early September 2004 End September 2004 October 2004 ­ December 2004 January 2005 ­ February 2005 March 2005 End march 2005/early April 2005 Early May 2005 Mid June 2005

EIA PROGRAMME PROGRAMME

Scoping Phase

Impact Assessment Phase

Authority Review

June 2004

July

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec Jan

Feb

Mar

April

May

June 2005

Figure 9.

EIA summary schedule.

46

OLIFANTS RIVER WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (ORWRDP) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

DRAFT SCOPING REPORT

8.

REFERENCES

Water demand management and social adaptive capacity: A South African case study. Pages 187-204, in: Hydropolitics in the Developing World: A Southern African Perspective. (A.R. Turton & R. Henwood, Editors). Pretoria, African Water Issues Research Unit. Evaluation of the Olifants-Sand Water Transfer Scheme in the Northern Province of South Africa. Cambridge MA, USA, January 2003. National Water Resource Strategy. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa. Olifants Water Management Area: Overview of Water Resources Availability and Utilization. Report No. P WMA 04/000/00/0203 MMSDsa Southern Africa Research Topic 4: Impacts of Mining and Minerals Processing on the Biophysical Environment in Southern Africa. Final Report ­ August 2001. Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development (Southern Africa), Johannesburg. Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. A comparison to the vegetation map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Second Edition). Second Edition. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria. http://www.demarcation.org.za Access Date: 19 July 2003. Environmental Laws of South Africa. Juta & Co. Has the bubble burst? Financial Mail, Volume 175, No. 7. P O Box 1744, Saxonwold, 2132, South Africa. Biomes of Southern Africa - an objective categorization. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa 63. National Botanical Gardens, Pretoria. Stats in Brief 2002. Statistics South Africa, Private Bag X44, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa.

Ashton, P.J. and Haasbroek, B. (2002)

Cambridge Resources International (2003) Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (2002) Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (2003) MMSDsa (2001)

Low, A.B. and Rebello, A.G. (1996)

Municipal Demarcation Board (2002) Henderson, P. (1996) Financial Mail (2004) Rutherford, M.C. & Westfall, R.H. (1986) Statistics South Africa (2002)

Skelton, P.H. (1993)

Stimie, C., Richters, E., Thompson, H., Perret, S., Matete, M., Abdallah, K. and Kau, J. (2001) Van Rooyen, C. (2003)

A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers, Halfway House.

Hydro-institutional Mapping in the Steelpoort River Basin, South Africa. Working Paper 17 (South Africa Working Paper No. 6) Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute.

Bird Impact Assessment Study-400kV Dhuva-Janus Transmission Line - Final Report. Endangered Wildlife Trust.

Van Wyk, A.E. and Smith, G.F. (2001)

Regions of Floristic Endemism in Southern Africa: A Review with Emphasis on Succulents. Umdaus Press, Pretoria.

9.

PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Environmental Affairs: Mpumalanga, Nelspruit, South Africa

Batchelor, G

47

APPENDIX 1

ISSUES REPORT

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