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R30bn to clean abandoned mines

The WWF says taxpayers should not foot the bill for mine cleanups.

Mineshaft. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The World Wide Fund (WWF) for nature said on Thursday taxpayers should not foot the bill for mine cleanups.

On Wednesday the WWF presented a study on the environmental impact of mining in South Africa which revealed that an initial R30 billion is needed to deal with acid mine drainage.

Environmental consultant Marguerite Bond-Smith said, "We want to advocate and create awareness. We don't want to become hysterical and say this is a panicked situation at all."

Bond-Smith said this is a long standing problem.

"We are also sitting with a legacy of abandoned and ownerless mines which have exasperated the issue. There is room for improvement. We need to be more mindful of the fact that we must put effective enforcement in place."