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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Challenges associated with living in karst environments, such as the historical Cradle of Humankind
Author:Durand, J. Francois
Periodical:New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:environmental degradation
environmental law
environmental education
Abstract:One of the largest and oldest karst systems in the world, dominated by 2.2 billion-year-old dolomite deposits, covers a vast area of South Africa, from the North West Province, through Gauteng into Mpumalanga and the Limpopo Province. The urban centres in Gauteng and the North West Province are situated near or on the karst system due to its proximity to the Witwatersrand gold deposits. The demographic development associated with these gold deposits resulted in it becoming the most densely populated region in South Africa. The ensuing human activities such as mining, farming, industrial development and urbanization have a negative impact on the groundwater, rivers and ecosystems associated with the karst system in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site to the north of Krugersdorp. The article details these negative impacts and then examines the role of education and legislation in the protection of karst systems and karst ecology. Ref., sum. in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]