Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1999
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/915/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/915/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/915/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015
On 27 January 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/915/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous session is presented in the report as follows:
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The State Party has responded to all the matters raised by the World Heritage Committee and has supplied information on the property’s ongoing protection.
Though the IGTT and DWS are the two key bodies responsible for the water management, there are a number of other agencies mentioned in the state of conservation report who have a role in managing and monitoring the water issues. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide further details identifying each agency’s roles and responsibilities for the water management at the property and the reporting structure.
Initial measures have been undertaken to improve the mine water treatment plant. Although these measures have mitigated some of the adverse impacts in the downstream aquatic environment, the plant still remains inadequate to control the volume of decant generated in exceptionally wet summer rainfall seasons. This limitation is being assessed by the second phase of the Western Basin works currently underway, which is increasing the capacity of the treatment facility and the construction of a new pump-station. Further clarification on the design specifications for this phase of works are needed to assess how this project will result in the significant mitigation of the raw mine water threat to the receiving environment. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to carry-out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and submit it to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
The monitoring programmes and systems that the State Party has developed and implemented are having a positive impact on the mitigation of AMD and ground water and surface water pollution. However, it is unclear if the quality values reported relate to treated or untreated mine water, what the monitoring time frames are and how the results shall be disseminated (e.g. annual reports, web base, etc.).
Only a small portion of the property, located in the south-western portion, remains at risk from the impact of AMD and municipal wastewater effluent. The State Party is encouraged to implement a programme to address this area at risk from AMD.
The State Party does not provide any discussion on the effects of climate change on the property. It is recommended that the State Party consider if climate change is a factor that may impact on the property. Another factor that should be taken into consideration is the potential impact of AMD on the pipes that supply drinking water to Johannesburg in the event that this infrastructure fails. The State Party should develop a contingency plan to manage such an event.
In light of the progress made by the State Party, it is considered that the main concerns of the World Heritage Committee are currently being addressed. It is therefore recommended that the Committee commend the State Party on activities so far undertaken to improve water management on the property and encourage it to continue with the implementation of all relevant measures and projects.
Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.44
The World Heritage Committee,