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

13 January 2011

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.