Mariette Lieferink has been dubbed South Africa’s climate change hero and she is prominently featured as the country's leading environmental activist in South African media.
Now, moved by the heavy contribution of the country's mines to climate change, Lieferink, who heads the Federation for a Sustainable Development (FSE), is working flat out to clean up the hugely polluted mining areas of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, which is also one of the world's 50 largest urban areas.
According to Lieferink, climate change is a potential disaster, poised to trigger the 'toxic time bomb' left by over 120 years of mining, particularly across Johannesburg, which is also South Africa’s industrial hub.
Johannesburg has been the epicentre of the giant South African mining industry since gold was discovered here in 1880. More than 40,000 tonnes of gold have been mined from the Witwatersrand Basin in the more than 120 years since then.