The Northern Cape MEC of Environment and Nature Conservation, Sylvia Lucas has called for the reinstatement of the restoration programme in Namaqualand during her 2011/2012 budget speech which she delivered on the 29th of May this year.
Lucas said her department supported the concerns expressed by the National Minister of Environmental and Water Affairs, Edna Molewa, regarding the closing of mines and its devastating effects on the surrounding communities, often resulting in illegal mining and consequent tragedies.
“In Namaqua we are shocked to discover that even the restoration programme was severely downscaled, leaving virtually everyone out of work” Lucas said.
Lucas believes that it is important that the restoration programme be reinstated immediately, to create new jobs, make the areas safer and prevent illegal mining.
Lucas also pointed out that in Namaqua alone 200 jobs could be created for the next ten years if mines were restoration programmes were in place. Lucas also expressed her sympathy with the community of Namaqua District who lost loved ones in the mining tragedy at Bontekoe near Kleinzee.