Quick sand, dirty Money; South Africa

durban-south-africa
Durban, South Africa. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Illegal sand mining in South Africa is starving beaches of sand, ruining rivers, and endangering lives.

Mining has already cut coastal sand supply by as much as 70 percent in the municipality of Ethekwini, which includes Durban, according to a study by South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)—repeating a pattern that is playing out around the world as cities spread.

Each year, miners dig up more than 400,000 cubic meters of sand from Durban’s rivers, enough to fill 160 Olympic swimming pools. This sand would normally be deposited on beaches and help offset coastal erosion. At current mining rates, Durban’s beaches are predicted to contract, on average, by more than a meter each year…

Read Full Article, Hakai Magazine (12-05-2017)

The environmental loss of illegal sand mining in South Africa, ENCA (01-07-2016)
Research shows that KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape are home to more than 200 illegal sand mining operations. Umvoti River sand is as good as gold in the construction industry. Its stellar components have placed it among the best sand in South Africa for building purposes. But this comes at a great environmental loss…

Sand Mining Threatens South Africa’s Coast, Business Report (03-06-2015)

Illegal Sand Mining in South Africa a Report: “Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme, by Romy Chevallier;” All’Africa (12-28-2014)

South Africa Dune Mining Whips Up Sandstorm, CNN (07-09-2012)
For centuries, the massive sand dunes overlooking the warm waters off the South African east coast have created a majestic scenery, acting as a natural wall between the sea and the land environment. In recent years, mining companies have been eager to dig inside these dunes to extract the valuable minerals they contain…

“The Shore Break,” A Movie From Riley Grunenwald; Variety (05-02-2016)
A gorgeous stretch of the Wild Coast is the object of a standoff between corrupt pro-mining forces interested in mining the local beach sand for titanium, and a South African coastal community. The drama is structured around two diametrically opposed protagonists. A film review by Variety…

The Market For African Beach Sand: Who’s Buying, Selling And Mining It? AFK Insider (02-17-2017)

Sand mining decimates African beaches, DW (02-15-2017)

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about sand mining. “Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, TakePart (09-21-2016)
Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste…

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource. The traditional building of one average-sized house requires 200 tons of sand; a hospital requires 3,000 tons of sand; each kilometer of highway built requires 30,000 tons of sand… A nuclear plant, a staggering 12 million tons of sand… “Denis Delestrac (©-2013).

Sand Mining in South Africa: Learn More, Coastal Care

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

DD-south-africa-sand-mining
Beach and dune sand mining, South Africa. © Photo courtesy of: Denis Delestrac
As of 2011-2012, when investigative filmmaker Denis Delestrac and team, were first collecting and unveiling sand mining datas and information from the professionals involved, the Sand business was estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…!—Denis Delestrac (©-2013)

Tags: ,

Sand Mining

You can make a difference and help save our beaches

Learn simple things that you can do to help protect beaches starting with simply educating others about the beach thereby helping us celebrate the beauty of the world’s beaches.


Join our campaign!

Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


  • Sand Mining Resources

  • More / Sand Mining

    Sweetwater Authority eyes sand mining, material dredging opportunities, CA

    September 27th, 2019

    The board of the Sweetwater Authority is interested in sand mining and material dredging opportunities in and around the South Bay water agency’s two reservoirs.

    Read More

    In Cambodia, sand mining is big business — but it comes at a price

    September 23rd, 2019

    Sand mining accounts for 85 percent of all worldwide mineral extraction, a $70 billion industry. In Cambodia, the practice is big business — but it comes with a price. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports.

    Read More

    French couple faces prison time after being caught with 90 pounds of sand from Sardinia

    August 19th, 2019

    A French couple is facing years of jail time after stealing almost 90 pounds of sand from Sardinia, the Italian island known for its picturesque beaches.

    Read More

    Sand stolen by tourists returned to Sardinian beaches

    August 6th, 2019

    Local authorities and environmental experts have teamed up with Olbia Airport to return sand, pebbles and shells confiscated from travellers’ luggage to beaches on Sardinia’s famed ‘Emerald Coast’.

    Read More

    Inside the deadly world of India’s sand mining mafia

    July 2nd, 2019

    India ranks second after China in its use of construction sand, a dwindling and increasingly valuable resource.

    Read More

    The crumbling coast: Mineral beach sand mining is eating away Kerala’s coast;Video

    June 26th, 2019

    Residents of Alappad, a seaside village in Kollam, Kerala, have begun the #savealappad campaign to stop sand mining in their village which is resulting in large chunks of land getting wiped out.

    Read More

    Sand mafias silence journalists in India

    June 22nd, 2019

    Up to 50 billion metric tons of sand and gravel are extracted every year worldwide. The inexhaustible need for sand from this rapidly-developing country is the breeding ground for illegal activities by what has come to be known as the “sand mafias”.

    Read More

    UN Report: Sand Mafias are Destroying Moroccan Beaches

    May 31st, 2019

    Sand mafias and illegal sand extraction are destroying beaches and threatening Morocco’s coastline, reminds the UN Environment Program.

    Read More

    Archive / Sand Mining