Gauteng and NW Province

Environmental issues – South Africa

South Africa faces problems endemic to industrialising countries, many of which contribute to environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity. These problems include deforestation, rapid population growth and urbanization. South Africa’s thirst for water is currently outpacing supply. As a result increased strain is being put on rivers and lakes. Further, these rivers as well as ground water sources are being polluted by agricultural runoff, urban discharge and leaks at refineries and synthetic fuel plants. Additionally, South Africa’s reliance on coal for electricity contributes to large-scale water and air pollution, including significant carbon dioxide emissions. Soil erosion and desertification are also major problems facing South Africa.

South Africa was ranked 93rd on the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) in 2005. The areas of main environmental concern identified in the ESI were reducing air quality, reducing waste and consumption, reducing water stress and greenhouse gas emissions.

The above information was sourced from the following sites:
Energy Information Administration’s South African Profile
CIA World Factbook page on South Africa


I don’t know if we will ever listen or whether it will be just another typical case of “I told you so”. Please conserve water. Big or small, it is not important, just make every drop count. Harvest rainwater, recycle grey water, make a difference.

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