Objective of the flight: 

An aerial survey of the coal fields in Mpumalanga as well as the water systems and human settlements affected by coal.

Pilot:  Karl Jensen

Aircraft: Cessna 170

Beneficiary:  Victor Munnik, groundWork

Report from the beneficiary, Victor Munnik:

Please find below a link to the comprehensive report groundWork report:


Report from the pilot, Karl Jensen:

“Bateleurs Mission for David Hallowes and Victor Munnik PhD (Wits) Geography and Environmental Studies and of Independent Research for Water, Climate and Environmental Justice; Research Associate, Nature and Society, SWOP, Wits University Associated Researcher, Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University

I had the honour to fly this mission in my Cessna 170 which is an ideal photographic platform. The total flying time was 3 hrs 55 mins with a landing at Ermelo and Middleburg to change GoPro batteries and refuel the aircraft. First take off from Fly Inn Estate was at 08h10 and final landing at 12h35.

The area of study covered many of the Mpumalanga power stations and coal mines as well as agricultural influence on potential and actual water pollution and environmental degradation of the area from and around Bapsfontein – Delmas – Secunda – Camden Power Station – Ermelo – Chrissiemeer – Carolina – Belfast – Wonderfontein – Arnot Power Station – Hendrina – Middleburg – Duvha Power Station – Witbank – New Largo – Kendal Power Station. The flight covered 776 Km.

The mission intent was also to study aspects of the Vaal, Komati, Olifants rivers and their tributaries. The flight was smooth initially at altitudes of 500’ – 3,000’ above ground. The further east the track took us, so it became uncomfortably turbulent. Despite this discomfort according to the researchers, the mission was of immense value.”