Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 12-10-2019
Concerns have been raised about the theft of soil at Oupa Fats Wetlands (Klipriviersoog), north of Lenasia.
A Lenasia resident says the illegal theft of eco-sensitive soil continues unabated with absolutely no prosecution by the authorities despite them being aware of the incidents on a daily basis.
It’s believed that the estimated amount of soil stolen from the wetland is between 10 - 20 Tons per day.
This is then allegedly sold to willing buyers for about R300 per ton.
Ecopreneur & Eco Activist Yoonus Mitha says the theft of the soil has been happening for more than ten years.
Mitha says the impact of the soil theft has severe consequences for the environment, which creates an eco-system for birds, plants, insects and fish.
“The wetland is very vital in firstly cleaning the air, removing carbon from the air and trapping it in the water ort in the ground and secondly it prevents floods in the surrounding areas and it’s home to amazing birdlife, fish life and its entire eco-system on its own.”
Mitha says he believes that soil being sold locally in Lenasia and surrounding areas.
“So the people that are stealing it, it’s a few. It’s just not one particular individual and we also think that these guys may even be supplying hardware’s in an around the area and if that is the case, I think we need to start checking our sources of where the soil comes from.”
Mitha says while the local ward councilors and city of Johannesburg authorities are aware of the scourge, he has urged Lenasia residents to make a concerted effort to assist in the preservation of the wetlands.
Listen to the interview with Yoonus Mitha