We live in the world where everyone feels their agendas surpasses that of others. We believe those that has a different opinion are not smarter than us. Prior to 1994 there was service delivery for minority and once we got freedom, everyone needed access to basic services which put pressure on resource demand. Today we have water shedding, load shedding, damaged roads and leadership vacuum because those in charge are not aware what their responsibilities are, perhaps they do but do nothing about it.
During Mining Indaba in Cape Town and Africa Mining Indaba, we saw many protesting about coal fired electricity citing environmental impacts and human health. They are advancing for green energy but hardly talk the cost of the dilapidated green energy infrastructure to environment and human health. Not all the products are environmental friendly. When they become waste they become a burden in a country where hazardous waste facilities are minimal
The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy was not faced and bold as usual and he responded by saying “mining of coal remain the option for Africa and we cannot mine without exploration and therefore we should not advance one resource but coexistence of both”. Mining need a bold leader who is clear of what vision he is leading not get intimidated by demonstration. A leader must be clear and decisive
As an environmentalist I believe there should a careful tread towards environmental sustainability and collaborative efforts should be advanced to find space foe either technology. Off course striving for innovative cleaner technology for mining is key since coal and other minerals are at our disposal. To argue that Greener technology may not have cumulative environmental impacts would be ignorant of materials that makes such products like lithium for batteries and solar panels.
Environmentalist and engineers including regulators must work closely with role players and engage on sustainable economic decision which should exist on a base of sustainable natural environment, social environment and political environment that doesn’t use laws or relaxation of law to block or advance certain business interest but provide a fair and sound environment for business to thrive whilst it uses its profits to advance social environments around and build sustainable socio economic communities where they operate through employment, education, bursaries, enterprise development and sustainable social investments.
Leadership is Clarity and when we all see one thing, we should not ignore or discredit those that see adjacent things.