South Africa: Winemakers gobsmacked as Swartland opens door to sandmining

Swartland wine producers appear to have lost their legal battle to stop sand mining in Paardeberg, a move which threatens to undermine 20 years’ worth of work to establish Swartland as a prized winemaking region.

The granting of new sand mining licences opens up the possibility that mining operations will now become a common sight the region, changing the landscape and destroying precious cultivatable land in a relatively small area.

The Swartland Municipality’s own Spatial Development Framework for the Paardeberg – an official document setting out policy guidelines for sustainable development in the area – had earmarked it as a conservation area – a fact which the municipality’s decision appears to contradict.
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