In the published amended regulations of the National Disaster Management Act of 2002 on 16 April 2020, Section 11K (3) stipulates that “the monitoring and impact of seismicity through the Council for Geoscience must be intensified with immediate effect”.
The Council for Geoscience (CGS) welcomes the responsibility bequeathed by the State authorities and affirms its readiness to fulfil this obligation in accordance with its legislative mandate and in collaboration with key protagonists in implementation of regulations. The CGS maintains a national network of seismic stations across the length and breadth of the country and has a track record of recording and analysing seismology information for over a century. In giving effect to the resolution, the CGS will work together with a number of expert institutions including, albeit not limited to: the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC), The CSIR, the Minerals Council, the South African National Institute of Rock Engineers and the Institute of Mine Seismology.
The CGS currently operates and maintains the South African National Seismograph network, gold-mining clusters network (in collaboration with the MHSC), and the Bushveld Africa Array network. Data collected from these networks are streamed in real-time to the CGS Head Office and are continuously analysed and the levels of natural and mining-induced seismicity monitored. The information is available on our website http://www.geoscience.org.za/index.php/seismic-events-main
Recent analyses of seismic data recorded by the seismological network has confirmed that a significant decrease in mine-related seismicity was observed for the 12 day period between
28 March to 08 April 2020 across the deep gold- and platinum mining regions, in comparison to the 12 days before the commencement of the national lockdown period (i.e., between 15 and 26 March 2020). It is therefore expected that there would be increased level of seismicity once the mining operations resume, and this must be monitored to safeguard the safety of the mine employees, communities proximal to mine operations and indeed critical national infrastructure, such as road and electricity transmission infrastructure. A report will be regularly submitted to the national authorities on the monitoring and intensity of seismicity during the gradual increase in mining operations.
It is important to note that CGS is established in terms of the Geoscience Act 100 of 1993 (as amended), which legislates the CGS as the custodian of all geoscientific information (including seismological information), both on- and off-shore. The CGS uses the information to advise the state and the public at large.
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Ms Mahlako Mathabatha
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