May 25, 2022

Karoo Uranium, Fossil Energy Development Defies Water Scarcity and Reason

GRAAFF-REINET, South Africa –A contentious idea to use billions of gallons of scarce water to develop natural gas brought Stefan Cramer, a respected German-trained groundwater scientist, to settle in a 19th century cottage, with stucco walls and a mud and reed roof, near the center of South Africa’s desert Karoo. A well-regarded hydrogeologist with decades of experience in some of the world’s important oil and gas fields, Cramer was dispatched to the Karoo two years …

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Bazooka Radebe Murder and Funeral Fit South Africa’s Turmoil

On Saturday, April 2, 2016 hundreds of mourners set out to a Pondo tribal settlement on South Africa’s Wild Coast to honor Sikhosiphi Radebe, the chairman of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, who was assassinated on March 22. Radebe and several more Crisis Committee leaders spent the last decade organizing Wild Coast villages and settlers in opposing a big titanium sands beach mine along the Indian Ocean coast. The committee also opposes a new freeway that would …

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Kusile and Medupi, Conceived in Resource-Rich 20th Century, Struggle in Water-Scarce 21st

EMALAHLENI, South Africa – Not far from Johannesburg, set amid the corn and sunflower fields of the Highveld in Mpumalanga province, stand two unusually thick and tall candy-striped smokestacks, dozens of stout concrete support columns, and the tangled steel superstructure of the unfinished 4,800-megawatt Kusile coal-fired power station. About 370 kilometers (230 miles) northwest, spread across a stretch of dry scrubland in Limpopo province, is the construction site for Kusile’s unfinished twin, the 4,800-megawatt Medupi …

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South Africa Locks Onto Coal Despite Water Risks, Grim Market Trends

VRYHEID, South Africa — The chilly highland valleys of northern KwaZulu-Natal province, where coal mining and agriculture have coexisted since the late 19th century, have never been a geography of unfolding uncertainty, mystery, and menace like they are today. South Africa’s allegiance to coal mining and coal-fired power generation in an era of rising concern about water supply and quality, and weakening national and global demand, is causing a furor in the country’s mining sector, …

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