28 November 2013 - International.To
In the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT), and Small Enterprise Finance Agency SOC Limited (SEFA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will see both parties contributing an amount of R55 000 000 (fifty five million rand) each to establish a R110 000 000 (one hundred and ten million rand) Fund, subject to a due diligence exercise and approval by their respective regulatory and governance structures and National and/or Provincial Treasury.
The MOA, signed by Eastern Cape DEDEAT MEC (DEDEAT), honourable Mcebisi Jonas and SEFA Chairperson Dr S Magwentshu-Rensburg will provide financial and non-financial assistance to SME’s in the Wild Coast Region of the Eastern Cape Province. “The purpose of this MOU is to establish collaboration between Parties and encourage development of SMMEs within the Wild Coast Region of the Eastern Cape Province” said MEC Mcebisi Jonas. “We will establish a joint project steering committee to oversee the establishment of the Fund including the approval of its Business Plan and modus operandi. The purpose of this MOA is to record a mutual relationship between us and the department and simultaneously record each of our undertakings and/ or obligations” added Dr Magwentshu-Rensburg.
The Parties wish to setup a Wild Coast Development Fund which will provide financial and non-financial assistance to SME’s in the Wild Coast Region of the Eastern Cape Province with a view to:
Facilitating access to business opportunities for SMEs within the Wild Coast Region of the Eastern Cape.
The anticipated duration of the contract shall be for a period of 5 years (five) years and may be renewed or extended for a period as may be mutually determined by the Parties.
DEDEAT forms part of the provincial government’s intent to spearhead growth and development of the provincial economy. Policy priorities are derived from the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP), Provincial Industrial Development Strategy, and other high impact policy and linkages to initiatives such as the Provincial Job Strategy and now the National Development Plan (NDP).
SEFA, which is the result of a merger between South African Finance Apex Fund, Khula Enterprise Ltd and Small Business activities of IDC, has as its `mandate to foster the establishment, survival and growth of SMMEs and contribute towards poverty alleviation and job creation.
This agreement was signed during the Eastern Cape Integrated Wild Coast Development Programme (IWCDP) Summit held in OR Tambo Region on 14 November 2013. The summit took place at the back of a string of extensive and incisive stakeholder consultations within the affected regions.
Major infrastructure projects expected to crowd-in private sector investment.
The Integrated Wild Coast Development Programme and its constituents such as the upgrading of the Mthatha airport, the N2 Wild Coast Highway and the Umzimvubu Catchment Development will boost this Eastern Cape region’s economy by a conservative R40bn over the next decade.
This will have a massive economic impact in a region where, for the whole of the Eastern Province, the Human Sciences Research Council estimated that the poverty gap was R14.8bn in 2001 with 72% of the province below the poverty line. Poverty estimates are calculated using a poverty line that varies according to household size. A household of four people had a poverty income of R1 290 per month in 2001.
The poorest municipality in South Africa is Ntabankulu in the Eastern Cape (in the wild coast region), where 85% of its residents live below the poverty line. Seven of the ten poorest municipalities are located in the Eastern Cape.
“We are looking at investments of between R30bn to R40bn over the next decade,” Eastern Cape Member of the Executive Council for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Mcebisi ‘Smiley’ Jonas told a media briefing in Mthatha at the conference presenting the programme to stakeholders.
The reasonable expectation is that R16bn invested in major infrastructure projects by the public sector will crowd-in private sector investment worth at least three times that amount.
The jobs multiplier is normally in excess of five, so for instance during the construction phase of the Wild Coast highway 6 800 direct jobs will be created, while 28 100 indirect jobs be provided. The multiplier is 21 in the subsequent maintenance period with 900 direct jobs and 18 900 indirect jobs.
Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said the reform of the agrarian land tenure system would be an enabler with new proposals such as state land being leased for 30 years as a way forward.
“People must not be locked into the past by ideology and hung up on freehold. Most banks will accept 30-year leasehold as collateral,” Nkwinti said.
Jonas said land tenure issues would be handled on a case-by-case basis as one size did not fit all.
“What we are aiming for is sustainable development, where large retailers and agro-processing firms provide their expertise in the form of supply chain management and the latest agricultural techniques, while the community provide land and labour. Payment for these factors of production can take various forms,” he said.
Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa outlined an R8bn first phase dam and water reticulation programme for the Umzimvubu catchment area.
“Half a million people will benefit from the water reticulation project, while thousands of jobs will be created both directly and indirectly during the construction phase,” she said.
The first phase scheme consists of a large dam at Ntabelanga and a smaller dam at Laleni, both on the Tsitsa river upstream of the Tsitsa Falls. The estimated cost of these dams and the water reticulation project is just over R8bn in 2013 rand.
The proposed timelines see the detailed design of the project starting in November 2013. Rehabilitation of the catchment area including combating erosion and eliminating alien vegetation begins in February 2014.
The construction phase of the Ntabelanga dam lasts from November 2014 to February 2018, while the bulk water infrastructure will be built from October 2015 to September 2019 with the irrigation scheme being constructed from July 2016 to June 2020. The 180 Megawatts (MW) Laleni Hydropower Scheme is due to be erected from October 2016 to September 2019.
The Wild Coast highway is a strategic infrastructure project but has been held up by court action. It will link East London with Durban and will be 69 km shorter than the existing N2 route resulting in a time of between 75 minutes and 135 minutes. Both the time and fuel savings due to the lower altitude and fewer hills to climb will be the reason why truckers will still gain even though the route will be tolled. A total of 560 km will be redeveloped with an 80 km stretch being a greenfields development between Ndwalane and Mtentu.
The estimated costs are R5.1bn for the greenfields section, R2.1bn for the bridges over the Msikaba and Mtentu rivers and R1.8bn for upgrading of the existing N2 / R61 route. The detailed design of the two major bridges are completed, while the designs for a further seven minor bridges are in progress.
An indication of how the region will benefit is that R481m will be spent directly on wages, R360m will be spent on local manufactures, R240m will be the income of local retailers and R120m will be the income of local service providers.
Apart from the tourism sector, where every eight additional tourists results in one new job, the Wild Coast has enormous development potential in agriculture and agro-processing. Detailed studies have shown that the area has a competitive advantage in terms of rain, soil and climate for the cultivation of sub-tropical fruit and nuts, dairy production, lambs, wool, goats, forestry, maize, soya beans, canola, sunflower, groundnuts, sorghum, stone fruit such as peaches and nectarines and vegetables under irrigation.
An indication of the size of this agricultural potential is that if all the potential crop land was well farmed, more than 5 tons of maize could be achieved per hectare resulting in a total harvest of over 2 million tons of maize. This is more than double the current consumption of the regional population. The grazing area could support some 460 000 mature livestock units worth some R2bn.
Disclaimer: My trip to the Eastern Cape was sponsored by the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
*Forecaster Ecosa compiles forecasts on Africa’s economic future.
Insanity. They want to 'industrialise agriculture' in the Transkei. But to reverse the legacy of the 1913 land act, no title deed can be given. (+Fe) Despite the fact that Nkwinti acknowledges that everyone WANTS title to their land - his department has to meet the challenge to "balance the land market" vis a vis those who have vs those who don't.
Indeed, the current owners can lease their land from government. Or be relocated, rather, as the likes of Cyril Ramaphosa and his legions usurp all the land in another disastrous repression of human rights with some mad aim to benefit the rich while the local inhabitants will lose their land and be subjected to serfdom forever.
Nkwinti is talking about leasing their land out from under them for a minimum of 30 years.
BY DOMINIC PREUSS, NOVEMBER 18 2013 (Business Day)
INFRASTRUCTURE was the hot topic at the Wild Coast development summit held in Mthatha on Thursday, with hopes that planned upgrades to the N2 highway through the Eastern Cape will speed the development of industry and agriculture in the province.
In this video BDFM talks to Eastern Cape MEC Mcebisi Jonas about plans to create a special economic zone (SEZ) in Mthatha, and Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti on the new land reform strategy.
Insanity: They'll address the root cause of development failure - land tenure - after they spend R40 billion destroying the Wild Coast for ever.
But check how he phrases it:
"We need leaders who can go in and make deals with rural communities and then legalise those deals," Mr Jonas said.
"Then they can continue to have their debates about land tenure if they want to."
BY SHANNON SHERRY, NOVEMBER 18 2013 (Business Day)
BETWEEN R30bn and R40bn will be needed to unlock the potential of the Eastern Cape’s underdeveloped Wild Coast region, provincial economic development, environmental affairs and tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas said on Friday.
He was speaking in an interview after the Integrated Wild Coast Development Summit ended on Friday. The aim of the summit was to lobby for the needs of the region to be put on the national agenda.
"We won’t be able to dent levels of poverty without amounts of this nature to instal the backbone infrastructure that is needed," Mr Jonas said. The amount included R10bn for the upgrading of roads and more than R8bn for a water and hydroelectric scheme.
South African National Roads Agency Port Elizabeth project engineer Marlize Nel-Verwey said during the conference that the long-awaited new N2 highway, linking East London to KwaZulu-Natal through the former Transkei, would go ahead. This would be as soon as a court case opposing it was resolved.
Mr Jonas said "a change in mentality" and "leadership" were also needed to transform the region. "For example, 60% of the province’s livestock is in this region, but 85% of the income from livestock goes elsewhere in the province.
"The problem is commercialisation and it indicates the change in mentality that is needed. Something needs to be done to effect this ."
Leadership was needed to make deals with communities where land-tenure issues were a serious obstacle to development. "We need leaders who can go in and make deals with rural communities and then legalise those deals," Mr Jonas said.
"Then they can continue to have their debates about land tenure if they want to."
But Mr Jonas warned that there was no template for making deals with communities. "Each rural community is different and the approach needs to be constantly adapted when dealing with each," he said.
For example, there were "illegal operators" performing functions such as building, but when action was attempted against them, communities would defend them. "They have done what government should be doing," Mr Jonas said.
"They have spoken to the communities and they have made deals. They have defined a market for what they supply."
He said the provincial government was driving a strategy to attract investment in agriculture by the big agricultural companies. "We need a demand-led strategy in which people look at markets and supply those markets.
"It is often said that not everyone wants to be a farmer. That is true, but everyone wants an income."
It was not the first time similar initiatives had been attempted, Mr Jonas said. "From as early as 1996, the government established the Wild Coast spatial development initiative to maximise the … underutilised economic potential of the area.
"Other major interventions in partnership with donor agencies were the European Union Wild Coast support programme and the Wild Coast conservation and sustainable development programme. These previous attempts failed but not so much because of shortcomings in their development logic.
"The logic of a corridor development initiative with a clear and well-defined spatial focus within which integrated planning, resource mobilisation and catalytic projects can be implemented must be retained in this renewed initiative."
Mr Jonas said it had been decided to build on these programmes. "A precondition for development and sustained management of the Wild Coast is a shared vision between the government, business, traditional leaders, civil society organisations and local communities."
Mr Jonas’s thinking informs much of the initiative and he hopes his experience in the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (from 1999 until 2004) and the private sector afterwards, before joining government four years ago, will help.
AN ABANDONED multimillion-rand tar road project has a Wild Coast community up in arms. The contractor has now left – after having taken more than a year to tar 3km of a 25km stretch of gravel road.
END OF ROAD: Concerned community members Gerald Goosen, Sherwin Carr and Lucky Sitwayi walk on an abandoned tar road project on the Wild Coast
Disgruntled business and taxi owners gathered on site yesterday to discuss a way to solve the problem, which they say has impacted negatively on their lives.
The project, which was to have connected the Centane town centre with Kei Mouth and Qolora Mouth, was abandoned earlier this year.
Lone Rock contractors, which began work on the project in 2011, tarred a 3km stretch from Qolora Mouth towards Centane.
Public Works provincial spokesman Sisanda George said there were several challenges that brought the work to a standstill. These included:
The community demanding the state pay for the gravel, which was taken from a local quarry; and
Delays in budget approval to cover additional costs.
By OWETHU PANTSHWA on November 14, 2013 in Metro, Opinion (Daily Dispatch)
HOW does one address the coastal development and how, in particular, does one transform the Wild Coast into a strategic economic centre, not only for the province but for the country?
These are among the issues that will come under the spotlight at the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s Wild Coast Development Programme sessions in East London today and tomorrow.
Unlocking development of the Wild Coast could be a critical step in redressing the historic frontiers of underdevelopment based on segregation and colonialisation that have characterised this area for centuries.
There is generally massive interest in mixed use and tourism development, both from a political point of view and for the sake of the development of rural communities. But coastal development is very slow. In reality there are no developments that can bring about economic change and sustainable employment of these very deprived communities.
In the next episode of The Ultimate Braai Master 2, which airs on Wednesday, 6 November at 20:30 on SABC3, the teams head up the Wild Coast as the game introduces survival dynamics.
Teams swing into beach mode and become modern day foragers, as they have to live and cook off the coast for two days. After a long and tedious day trying to forage and fish for food in these wild waters, teams are challenged to make the perfect campsite meal for themselves and the Judges.
Three teams end up as the bottom feeders and have to battle it out in an elimination, where they’re required to cook an 80s themed seafood buffet for 100 guests. It’s a huge volume of food to prepare in only three hours, and one team’s Braai dreams go up in smoke as they are sent home.
This episode of The Ultimate Braai Master 2 airs on Wednesday, 6 November at 20:30 on SABC3.
JOHN RUDLING knew he was in trouble when the engine of his Robinson R22 helicopter spluttered and lost power just five feet into the hover – not because he was making an unscheduled touchdown, but rather because of where he was.
The aircraft is operated by G4 Helicopters, at Margate Airport, and, since the loss of the company’s R44 earlier this year, it was the only means of keeping the students busy. There was another problem. The R22 was on a verge near a very deserted beach on the rugged Transkei coast – not famous for its roads or communications.
Some idea of the work and materials which were required to get the damaged R22 from its crash site on to the back of the truck for transportation to the nearest road.
(Subsistence fishers obliged to work in cooperatives? (Yah, that'll work. Gugu has the entire co-management commitee structure mapped out for Coffee Bay, and tried for years to get the department to 'cooperate'.)
WHILE the Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to "urgently" allocate fishing rights in the small-scale fisheries sector, the minister has said she cannot until new legislation was passed.
Ms Joemat-Pettersson has been repeatedly criticised for mishandling her portfolio, which has impact on a large slice of South Africa’s economy. The sectors she controls can provide jobs for unskilled labour in a country embroiled in an education crisis.
Ms Joemat-Pettersson’s small-scale fisheries policy was adopted by Cabinet in 2012, and the process to amend the Marine Living Resources Act began immediately thereafter "to ensure a legal framework exists to enable the implementation of the policy", Ms Joemat-Pettersson’s spokeswoman Carol Moses said on Wednesday.
Earlier this month the minister complained that her department was "operating in a legislative vacuum" because "over 20" pieces of legislation (including the Marine Living Resources Act) that needed amendment were being held up by inaction from Parliament’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries committee.
Moloto Motapo, spokesman for African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Stone Sizani, said on Wednesday there were more than 70 bills before Parliament, all expected before the 2014 elections, and "the reality is that it is impractical that all of them will be passed."
DA agriculture, forestry and fisheries shadow minister Pieter van Dalen said: "The DA urges all stakeholders … to step aside all political machinations and put fishing communities first by processing and passing this vital piece of legislation without delay."
Among others, the bill was set to change the status of South Africa’s roughly 6,000 "subsistence fishermen", designating them "small-scale fishers" and obliging them to work together in co-operatives, Mr van Dalen said.
"This has serious implications considering the significant numbers of subsistence quota holders, their isolated locale, inaccessibility to fishery control offices and the lack of any legal and socioeconomic research or analysis into what it would mean to migrate these quota holders to the category of "small-scale".
It is not feasible to simply remove the largest single recognised category of fishermen from the statue books without a concrete plan to assist them going forward," he said.
Fisheries expert Shaheen Moolla said the problem with the department’s small-scale fisheries policy was that it "lumped everything into one system, one set of rules", when there were several species covered by the policy, not all of which could be fished by small-scale fishers.
Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies fisheries expert Moenieba Isaacs, who helped write the new policy, said the policy’s proof would be in its implementation.
Prof Isaacs said the policy was expressly aimed at ensuring those previously excluded from participating in the fishing industry were included. Doing this would require extensive investment in infrastructure in small fishing communities or the policy would not work, she said.
"I do have a problem with the notion of co-operatives, I don’t feel the communities are ready to work as co-operatives yet," she said.
I have a subscription to Time Magazine, courtesy of my dad. Mostly for toilet reading 'Murica's FP - but it can be interesting.
This article is scanned from Time Magazine, 22 August 2013 edition, but does not otherwise appear online:
Revisionism or scripted, it stinks. To hell and high heaven. I even commented to my friend Kate that I had lucid nightmares and weird dreams that night. Didn't know what was brewing then; but if you have a flaky intuition, or weird spiritual dis-ease like mine, you might know that evil is walking the earth again.
George E. Neumann.... very relevant, Zap!
Otherwise where is it at: http://swampland.time.com/tag/barack-obama/ !?
Update: NSA/Palantir 13:59
Posted this response to a FB friend's support of Obomba's imminent intervention:
I think you're confusing 'left' with 'moderate'. There is a time and place to intervene, perhaps, but not with such flimsy, uncorroborated evidence of a bleached 'red line' or cognizance of the vested interests. /As I've seen elsewhere; and I'm by no means fluent on the subject, I think it was Chomsky who said that Assad should personally be charged and brought to account. The Military Industrial Complex is manufacturing evidence for this periodical/inevitable war and sorely needed capital injection. Watch Halliburton shares. And the price per bbl.
3 September 2013, 21:00
or as a zip file: env_auth.zip
For some cool footage of the other side of "The Hole", check http://youtu.be/wWisCZKXUQo
On 15th October 2012 Richard set off from the SA-Namibia border on his second attempt at an epic surf ski adventure to paddle the whole 2600-kilometre South African coastline, ending at the Mozambique border.
The adventure is raising money for the Miles for Smiles foundation.
Check www.facebook.com/Paddlingforsmiles for updates and donor information. Click on "LIVE surfski tracking" to follow Richard:
The 3 month long petition "Demand that the South African government declare the Wild Coast a No Go area for mining once and for all" ran from 9 July until 8 October 2012 and received 24,315 supporter's signatures.
Download the 660 pages of sigs here:
She offers basic treatments such as dipping, deworming, treatment of wounds, and replacement of old and harmful tack, such as bridles and saddles, with donated equipment.
She will shave her hair off at a public event in East London on 1 September 2012.
Regular photos and updates are uploaded on the Facebook group "Hole in the Wall Horse Project".
Please support this worthwhile cause.
Email Marlene Els at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 078-2507980.
On Wednesday, 2012-08-08 the Amadiba Crisis Committee filed an Objection against the prospecting right application made by Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources SA:
The objection was filed jointly by the ACC and Sun International, which operates the Wild Coast Sun resort adjacent to the proposed mining area.
* TEM is ineligible for a new grant of prospecting rights because their application is redundant: they have already prospected the site, and are therefore merely attempting to hoard the rights. This transparent ploy creates more uncertainty and directly impedes development of the tourism potential in and through the area;
* Prospecting and mining activities cannot take place in the Xolobeni region at all because it is within an already designated Marine Protected Area (MPA). The tiny Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE), where the mining is proposed, is the second most florastically abundant region in Southern Africa, and one of only 26 such species rich places on earth;
* Mining the area will lead to unacceptable environmental and social harm. The objection clearly states the inevitable outcome of the limited short-term capital gain operations versus the long-term (infinite) sustainability of eco-tourism: Mining will irreversibly degrade the ecology, sense of place, and appeal of the area.
* The community will be displaced. The unacceptable outcomes of strip-mining include, inter-alia:
1. Forced eviction from their ancestral lands:
2. Loss of access to farmland for both crops and livestock, leading to subsequent loss of income, means of subsistence, and way of life;
3. Decreased viability of subsistence agriculture and fishing due to dust fallout;
4. Risk to irrigation from declining ground water sources;
5. Relocation/destruction of ancestral graves;
6. Destruction of culturally important archaeological sites;
7. Loss of current tourism and potential eco-tourism opportunities in the area, as Kwanyana camp, which is pivotal for accessing trails, will not be able to be used by tourists for lifetime of the mine; and
8. Irreversible damage to residents' sense of place, which is closely associated with unspoiled character and traditional use of the land.
9. Basically, irreversible degradation to the environment for a short term gain of $6 billion.
Please sign our petition at www.causes.com/wildcoast for the Wild Coast to be declared a "no-go" area for mining once and for all.
2 cottages at Coffee Bay. 3 bedroomed en suite cottage; fully equipped and serviced daily. Fully electrified and municipal water supply. Sleeps 7 - R2000.00 per day. Minimum number of nights = 10. Email email@example.com 2nd cottage in same complex = 5 bedrooms sleeping 14 (2 bedrooms en-suite) plus 2 more bathrooms. Fully equipped; serviced daily; electrified and municipal water supply. DSTV etc. . R3000.00 per day. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
£1 (GBP) from the sale of each book will be donated to Sustaining the Wild Coast (www.swc.org.za), a registered NPO responsible for halting the mining at Xolobeni, and currently waging a protracted legal battle, alongside the Pondoland residents, to stop the N2 troll road.
Click on the pic to order your copy: or here: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/905621
The Ama-Xhosa of the Transkei - by Deryck Lang. Edited by Dianne Lang
Deryck spent his life among the amaXhosa in the Transkei, and was a respected member and Elder of the amaTshezi; the foremost clan of the Bomvana tribe. The photographs he took are a testament of his enduring love of the people, and their deep respect for him.
Few, if any, outsiders have been as privileged to photograph tribal customs and ceremonies, to share in their fortunes and their sorrows; and to live amongst them their entire life. Deryck captured an intimate glimpse into what could sadly be the end of a cultural era.
Deryck was a true African in the deepest sense of the word, a man who epitomised the meaning of "Ubuntu" and "Umntu Ngumntu Ngabantu".
Lala Ngoxolo Mdesaleni
You’ve probably heard of the Tanzanian government‘s recent decision to cancel plans for the construction of a new highway that would have bisected the Serengeti National Park, threatening the integrity of the site of one of the world’s largest, most famous and most important annual wildlife migrations. That was great news.
You’re less likely to have heard of another, perhaps less significant, but equally controversial plan to build a new highway on South Africa’s Wild Coast. The bad news: this one looks like it’s going ahead.
Last week, South Africa’s Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, gave the go-ahead for the new N2 Wild Coast toll road project which will involve the upgrading of existing smaller roads and building of some 90 kilometers of new road through the Pondoland area. Government believes that the road will help create job opportunities, increase tourism and accelerate investment and development in this rural and largely impoverished region. Significantly, it will also provide for easier access to potential mining prospects along the spectacularly beautiful and relatively untouched coastline.
The fight over this road, which in 2007 was estimated to cost R6.4 billion (about $950 million), has been going on for more than a decade. Support has come largely from the national government level and the South African National Roads Agency. Very vocal opposition has been provided by local communities on the Wild Coast, environmentalists, concerned citizens and even the provincial government of KwaZulu Natal.
The project was shelved in 2004 after it was discovered that the supposedly independent environmental consultants tasked with conducting an environmental impact assessment (EIA) had financial links with the companies hoping to build the new road. Molewa’s recent announcement comes after another EIA gave the green light for the project.
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.” Opponents charge that the road will endanger sensitive forests and waterways and threaten the traditional way of life of local communities.
Of particular concern is the new section of road which is slated to cut through and destroy some 16% of a fragile region known as the Pondoland Centre of Endemism which is of special value because of its great biodiversity and the presence of many plant species that are found nowhere else on the planet. It also represents the cultural homeland of the AmaPondo people. This new section of road would include construction of no fewer than nine new high-level bridges across river gorges.
Adversaries of the new road argue that a truly sustainable development path for the region would help to uplift the local population while protecting the unique environment at the same time. They have vowed to fight government’s intention to go ahead with construction in the country’s courts.
Visitors to the Wild Coast have long appreciated it as one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa and one that has remained largely undisturbed by human development and environmental degradation. It would be unforgivable if it was devastated by something as mundane as a road. In the words of one local commentator, Fred Orban, “the surest and quickest way to destroy a world renowned wilderness area is to cut a highway through its heart.”