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Background

The Minister for Environment & Water Affairs recently over-ruled all 49 appeals against the N2 toll road, and granted permission for the proposed N2 toll road to pass through, and destroy, 16% of the greenfields of the Pondoland Center of Endemism (PCE). The new EIA acknowledges that there will be a “loss of sensitive habitats” and “faunal impacts with loss of faunal diversity and loss of species of special concern.”

Read more at: www.care2.com

The general public had until 19 May 2010 to submit objections to the minister in writing, and we submitted 1711 petition signatures and email addresses, along with social and environmental grounds for opposing the road ploughing through the Transkei's AmaPondo people and destroying a fragile ecosystem. (See www.wildcoast.co.za/node/1189)

To be honest, this petition didn't work then, and it's doubtful that it will have much impact now; since our government pretty much does whatever it wants anyway. What we can do though, is register our disapproval and stand in solidarity with the AmaPondo (including ~deposed~ King Mpondombini Sigcau and his queen) in opposing the destruction of their land and culture.

Succinctly: development for the people of Pondoland does not depend solely on the N2 being routed through the greenfields of the PCE. The continued existence of the PCE, however, depends entirely on it not doing so.

The PCE is an internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot, and as signatory to the international Convention of Biodiversity, the South African government is reneging on its international commitments, and also violating numerous mainstays of our Constitution which are meant to safeguard the environment, our lifestyle, culture and traditions.

The social consequences for local residents will be devastating due to their being cut off from coastal resources and commonages. The entire roadway will be fenced off and residents will have to detour miles out of their way to gain access to the road, or to "the other side."

The negative impact on the environment will be enormous: destroying approximately 16% of the PCE greenfields in the wake of the proposed road; while secondary impacts - such as pollution and ribbon development that will surely follow - are not adequately considered in the EIA.

One can only conclude that the undisclosed reasons are to pave the way for large scale canola farming, and to provide road access to the strip mining at Xolobeni for the un-benificiated raw minerals.

We call on the government to abide by our constitution and international commitments.

Please read up more on the latest news at www.wildcoast.co.za/tollroad.

Join our Facebook Cause!

Petition against the destruction of the Pondoland Center of Endemism

ViewSignatures

Apart from the up-front costs of social displacement and the destruction of 16% of the greenfields of the PCE; the road brings with it socially and ecologically unsuitable development; paving the way for strip mining and monoculture crop (canola) farming, and the inevitable ribbon development and pollution which will follow.

Help protect the PCE and the chosen way of life of traditional Pondo communities from unsustainable commercial exploitation...

Thank you.

(P.S. We respect your privacy and your email address will always remain confidential.)

Sign the petition!
Check this box if you wish to receive updates about this petition campaign

petition still on?


Hi, I'm looking on how I could sign your petition, but can't find a button or something.

Petition re-opened


Hi Bart,

Thanks for the prod. The petition is now re-opened.

Regards,

Jeff

Acteurs,Actrices de l'évolution de Votre pays : protéger Le


Les politiques,haut en couleur dans leur habit d'orgueil,essayent de contraindre les populations à leur volonté parcequ'ils sont,naivement,persuadés qu'ils détiennent La solution pour l'intérêt de tous.La majorité de nos dirigeants(au niveau mondial)ont une vision étroite et limitée des conséquences de leurs décisions, alors continuez votre combat, parcequ'il est aussi notre combat en France : que les intérêts finaénciers (égotique) ne dirigent plus notre vie.
I'm with you in this fight

Route or road?


I'm not clear on whether this petition is against the N2 road extention itself, or the route it follows. Is there any way the road could be built causing less damage to the PCE? If so, that's what I would like to vote for.

Everyone who's writng here is well-connected to water, electricity and roads and has not made the move to go and live off the grid in deep rural Pondoland. We drive cars and cause global warming, we use chemicals that mess up the nation's waterways. Can we demand that others live the no-impact life? Do the people along the N2 road want it or not?

Why would they want a toll road?


A lot of the people writing here have researched, and know full well, the issues, historical precedents, and devastating social and ecological impacts that such so-called 'developments' bring in their wake.

Specifically, apart from the environmental damage, the *toll* road will divide communities and increase transport costs *and* inaccessibility, while bringing unsustainable ribbon development and population influx into critically endangered greenfield endemism areas.

There is no doubt that some economic benefits might accrue on a national scale. Especially in respect to the strip mining which would surely follow the road's path (even though the lion's share would be granted to offshore concerns). But at what cost? Don't for a second think that it will not spell the end for an era, an indigenous culture, and innumerable species.

If mankind continues down 'this road' indefinitely, our childrens' future is bleak and derelict.

Its no different - THE ROAD


Its no different - THE ROAD unrolls a tapestry of what lies from Durbs to Port Edward. Mile after mile of smelly sick landscape - tacky holiday flats and townhouse developments, billboards, golf courses, mostly empty private holiday homes with beach views, landscapes of exotic gardens, monkey puzzle trees, mowen lawns framed by high walls, maids, neibourhood watch, security patrols, double garages and satellite TV, litter and waste dumps, petrol stations and ultacities, supermarkets and flags, ski boats and fishermen, rolling ribbon development, poverty and squatter camps, wire mesh covered bridges to stop the rocks, wow! high bridges for bungy jumping and suicides, mainly nightime road kills, invasive plants spread by sweeping traffic, road accidents and pedestrian deaths, uhoh another toxic spill, new stone quarries, dusty roads, agriculture - more sugarcane, bananas and gums... farm stalls!

Wildcoast


Try as I may, I am unable to confirm to confirm my signature, because THERE ISN'T AN OPTION TO DO SO.
Guess my vote isn't needed.

JANEEN VERY ANGRY

Signature confirmation


Hi Janeen,

Simply clicking on the link that was emailed to you is sufficient to confirm your signature.

I'm sorry it doesn't give you more tangible feedback. Will try and fix that.

The names of the signatories are listed on the site, and you can currently find your name here: http://www.wildcoast.co.za/ict4d/node/198/signatures?page=12 . . . though it should probably move to the next page shortly.

:)

PAY, PAY, PAY


That's all we little taxpayers of this banana republic do. Pay for new bright-spark ideas of some bunch of fools sitting in their shiny offices and probably taking fat kick-backs. KZN already has the most tolls in the country. And we are certainly not the wealthiest of provinces....
Going off to work and paying what - R8 or R10 or R15 every day - a fat R200 or so on to monthly expenses.
As if we don't have enough to contend with Eskom, rates, water, fuel prices, food prices etc etc.
What part of "NO WE DO NOT WANT THIS ROAD, WE DO NOT WANT THESE TOLLS" does the stupid, incompetent, ignorant, idiots in government not understand???

why must we pay for roads


why must we pay for roads that are up to shit!!!!!!

I simply cannot believe that


I simply cannot believe that minister has signed the ROD for this! It is pathetic. This one of the world's biodiversity hotspots! Need I say more!!!

Transkei toll Road


They will sign whatever lines their pockets with gold. Regardless!!!
The part that really hurts is they are going to charge US for something WE DON'T WANT!

Champion needed


Unless an cohesive stance is taken opposing the toll road, this project will take place due to a lack of opposition. Petitions are seldom enough to sway development of this nature, there will need to be a public outcry, and possibly protest action. Who will drive this?

If one examines many "beneficial" projects and upgrades such as the upgraded table mountain cable car, the chapmans peak toll-road the full costs are not provided until the project is complete. In the former, we were told it would allow more people to access the mountain, but it necessitated a larger cable station (an eternal eyesore), a shorter ride, and costs three times higher than previously. There was also substantially increased pressure on the mountain - but NO tangible benefits to the local public.
In the case of Chapmans Peak, the road was cleared of rocks, the mountain side secured, and a toll road implemented. The cost of this was ugly concrete walls to a previously scenic route, unsightly nets, and expensive toll road costs. Furthermore the removal of large rocks has led to instability of the area, and destruction of the mountainside.
Both these examples are tiny compared to the N2 tollway, which has far greater scope for destruction, both foreseen and unanticipated.

Do not be hoodwinked. The benefits will go to a select few who greatly benefit financially from this project. There will be an influx of people hoping to work on the project, and the long term development generated by the project will have far reaching and long-term impacts. Make your voice heard. Spread the word, say no, and make a difference.

What part of "No" does Sanral not understand!


The EIA says NO! The People of all races say NO! The Provincial Government of KZN say NO! Ethikweni Municipality says NO! Where are the democratic rights of the IAP's I can only think that some people are having their pockets lined with GOLD!!

DEMOCRATIC?? Please, catch a


DEMOCRATIC?? Please, catch a wakeup! Democrats don't call each other 'comrades'. COMMUNISTS do! They have told you - if you don't like it 'LEAVE'. Methinks it's time to change the marathon's name too!

I ask you with tears in my


I ask you with tears in my eyes, yet know it can only be dollar signs!

Disgusting manipulation


It has slipped by many people's attention that Buyelwa Sonjica the Minister of Environment - is the SAME PERSON who was trying to secure the rights for the mining contract just two years ago as MINISTER OF MINERALS AND ENERGY. The merry-go-round in government is absolutely ludicrous, when will we have people in positions that actually have an interest in furthering the cause of that department, rather than simply being given the chance to "occupy a position". I am totally disgusted... how can you go from Minerals and Energy to the environment, it's like going from Minister of Death to Minister of Health... disgraceful.

They will just do as they please!


It is commendable that so many people are trying to stop these idiots. However, they will just go ahead and do it anyway as long as people just TALK! Who will sit and take the money if they know the booth is about to go up in smoke at any time? Fighting for a cause, not terrorism, you see!

Wild Coast Highway petitioners


Dear Sirs
While it is very commendable that lots of people are replying, it is very noticeble that most are not the indigineous population of the area. I understand that most of that population is unlikely to have an email address and internet access. I suspect that for this petition to carry any real weight, it will have to garner substantial support from the local community. This is likely to be achieved only on the ground, with people signing petition papers (and having ID validation?) etc. It might be that the local community will not oppose the highway, as it could bring economic development. It might make sense to raise funds to enable an educational process and collection of petitions. If the highway was to proceed, it might also make sense to propose ways to mitigate impact thereof?
Well done on all your efforts to bring this matter to the attention of all.

Yes, I would like to know


Yes, I would like to know what the people on the ground think. (Those who have not been bused or bribed as yet.) Again would they not prefer to have sanitation - operating - a municipality that functions instead of politicking and other working operations and services before having the area divided by the road?
Towns like Lusikisiki have no water at all!
Without these things there cannot be any further economic opportunity for the average person in any way.

So is there communication with the people of the area? Are they being given an opportunity to choose what they need for their communities to thrive?

solutions


Fantastic that we are all here ready to sign petitions and that they are being organised and have had effect in the past. For the short term.
However instead of focusing only on blocking the road going ahead, would it not be more effective to focus on the needs of the communities and the desperate situations people are living in, in Pondoland etc.
In other words BEFORE a billion rand project like this is done Lets DEMAND water, facilities, etc. These do not need a larger N2 in order to be put in place.
Can we not identify the needs etc and find solutions to them? That is where the people's money should be being spent. The government is glitzing over and distracting from the real issues of the area with a read herring toll road.

N2 Tollgate to be situated in Toti area


Not only do they want to wreck one of the worlds few remaining unspoilt paradises..
But they want to charge us for the use of the road already, dividing our home town in half, which we have been using to commute along almost every day of our lives which will link up with this planned road of habitat and ecosystem destruction

when is this irresponsible


when is this irresponsible behaviour of government going to stop? how do we take them to court? can it be done?

Look at the destruction caused by the Coega harbour, the proposed Thyspunt nuclear plant, the proposed mine at Elandsbay, the tarring of the Sani pass, the new coal mines,....all for the sake of so-called "development"!

Report the government to international authorities


The PCE is an internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot,so if our "wonderful government" is reneging on it's international commitments as a signatory to the international Convention of Biodiversity, why can't they be reported and brought to task? Maybe the Constitutional Court is the place for them if they continue to violate their constitutional commitments - those being to safeguard the environment. I think we are all getting just a little "sick and tired" of this "new regime" getting away with murder; and that's exactly what this is......

Environmental responsibility is an issue of social justice too


Heavy infrastructural development that destroys the quality of an environment equally reinforces the existing disadvantage and dispossession of the poor and marginalised communities in the affected area. Such projects are for the profit and benefit of the elite. Beside very short term potential dubious ‘benefits’ to local people in the period of construction, the power and allure of the elites’ world of concrete and plastic brings with it social problems resulting from increased exploitation and alienation from the means of control of the social and physical environment by the most vulnerable and powerless people in the area. Environmental responsibility is an issue of social justice too.

roads to destruction


Fossil fuel supplies are decreasing. Road infrastructure is increasing (length not quality); biodiversity like the East coast centre of endemism is decreasing - pity decision makers can't join the dots

keep on signing


keep on signing

roads


it is about time that we all realise that the present government can do anything they bloody well please.
it seems to me that they like upsetting rationally minded folks.
look at the rest of africa - that, it seems, is how they want to live

Toll road


All people and businesses on the KZN South Coast from Durban to Port Edward will be seriously adversely affected by the new Toll Plazas it is proposed to install. Taxis will have to increase their fares, affecting the poorer section of the community. Costs of bringing goods from Durban to areas on the south coast will increase.
South Coast residents see no benefit in the new toll road - it is a clear case of cross-subsidisation.

Who is pushing for short term profit here?


Why does it have to be a road????????????

Which oil company is pressurising for road development and continued increase and dependance on road traffic in South Africa?? What about the increase in carbon emissions (is the government really not serious about reducing our countries impact on global warming?)

Railway lines would be more sensible!!!!!!!! and serve the need for bulk and mass public transport.

we had the best railway


we had the best railway infrastructure in africa.............up to 1994.
the new regime chose to let this go as it was a symbol of apartheid and not making a profit.
now look at what our roads look like. costing more per kilometer to repair and maintain than any railroad.
america is investing in more railroads - africa on the other hand lets theirs go to the dogs.

Shoshaloza


The problem is that the tracks are a colonial remnant called Cape Gauge, most developed countries run on the standard gauge as does the famous Gautrain.The problem with this narrow track is that it does not carry Large shipping containers, it only carries truck sized containers, hence the huge impact on our roads.The second problem with our existing rail system is that there is a huge piece missing through the Eastern Cape. It would make sense to carry the gautrain track onwards to Durban along the coast to Cape Town, and back via Bloemfontein. This would create a sustainable transport system which could service freight,passengers,tourists etc nationally, as well as ease the pressure on our roads.

MAN continues regardless


Just another thoughtless, irresponsible disgraceful act against our beautiful Universe!
When are these lunatics going to come the realization as to what they've already done, let alone what still lies ahead - I wonder if they'd appreciate having their living enviroment destroyed, and without any notice! Time to stand up and take action - we don't who the hell will, as by the time they've finished, although the way things appear to be going at present (the perpetraitors, no doubt have obviously not noticed, alturnatively the choose not too as it fills their coffers), personally I don't believe we'll have much longer!
Those with some "balls" - time for action, and in this regard, not specifically directed at one country either, this is a world wide problem!

Loss


The route will be 75km shorter. But how much is lost just to have a route 75km shorter? Roads are not even maintained how can we afford to build more roads??

How can the N2 through the


How can the N2 through the Wild Coast be approved when the roads in the rest of the country are in such a state of disrepair. Fix the existing roads first and then talk of new roads and besides how can anyone consider wrecking the most beautiful part of our country and upsetting the ecology thereof.

Protecting our Wild Coast


Thank you for promoting awareness of our wild heritage, which is being eroded away. I trust that those in authority will take note and respond accordingly. We need to leave something behind for our children's children to enjoy and appreciate!

SWC Comments

N2 TOLL ROAD - GOVERNMENT APPEARS OBLIVIOUS TO THE COMPLEXITY OF REAL ISSUES AT STAKE

A recent parliamentary response to questions about the N2 Toll Road, posed to the Minister of Transport, shows the government has a deeply flawed understanding of the broader issues surrounding the N2 Toll road debacle. The Minister’s response suggests a government that is stuck in an inflexible time warp, basing its decisions on outdated, vastly flawed and unsustainable development projects that were conceived of in the early 90's, under scenarios vastly different from the situation that prevails today.

In reply to questions of whether the N2 was being planned as part of a broader spatial development plan, and how it would benefit the broader development objectives of the area, the Minister responded that the N2 was planned as part of the Wild Coast Spatial Development Initiative (WCSDI) intended to ‘unlock the development potential of the Eastern Cape’.

Read more...

Bench Marks

BioWatch

Botanical Society of South Africa

Earthlife Africa (ELA)

EnAct International

Endangered Wildlife Trust

Environmental Justice Networking Forum

International Fund for Animal Welfare

NatureLife-International

South African Faith Communities’ Enviroment Institute

The Anglican Communion

The WILD Foundation

Wilderness Foundation South Africa

Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa

World Wildlife Fund