Original Research

Environmental ethics and crime in the water affairs of the Wonderfontein Spruit Catchment, Gauteng, South Africa

Elize van Eeden, Mariette Liefferink, Elise Tempellhoff
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 4, No 1 | a175 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v4i1.175 | © 2008 Elize van Eeden, Mariette Liefferink, Elise Tempellhoff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2016 | Published: 11 April 2008

About the author(s)

Elize van Eeden, North-West University, South Africa
Mariette Liefferink, environmental activist, resident in Johannesburg, South Africa
Elise Tempellhoff, environmental journalist at Beeld newspaper, Johannesburg, South Africa

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This article provides an analysis of the water history regarding the Wonderfontein Spruit Catchment in the former Far West Rand in South Africa. The major scope for discussion is a short analysis of environmental ethics and crime in this area in the past, and how it has affected man and environment as analysed from a 21st Century perspective. The Wonderfontein Spruit Catchment forms part of the present-day Merafong municipal area, formerly Carletonville. Although voices of concern have featured prominently since the 1960s and even earlier, no extraordinary ethical approach towards this environment and its inhabitants is recorded in history. Bibliographic sources of the Wonderfontein Spruit Catchment currently number over 5000 entries. Despite this impressive production resulting from especially research, reports and whistle blowing in the past 55 years, the area was exposed to limited and insufficient ethically inspired actions, that should have had the ingredients to confirm a positive approach by primary role players regarding environmental management.


Ethics; Environmental Crime; Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment; Merafong; Carletonville; Water pollution; Gold mines


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