RAVAGED WILD COAST
By ANDREW STONE and BONGANI FUZILE on March 22, 2014 (Daily Dispatch)
HIGHLY lucrative but illegal sand mining, on what was arguably one of the country’s most pristine coastlines, is behind the construction of government schools, RDP houses and private homes in the Eastern Cape.
A two-month long investigation has revealed local communities, building supply stores, local businessmen and even construction companies are involved in illegal sand mining operations along the Wild Coast.
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.
South Africa is a country that has lived through one of the most frightening, riveting, and inspiring political revolutions in history. Real radical change faces each one of us every day. How do we deal with the mistrust that has crept in among our people from years of separation and confrontation?
Richard Branson in his book – Screw Business As Usual – says:
"We've a chance to take a shot at really working together to turn upside down the way we approach the challenges we are facing in the world and to look at them in a brand new, entrepreneurial way. Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where the boundaries between work and higher purpose are merging into one, where doing good really is good for business."
Awesome SA supports an organisation called Sustaining the Wild Coast.
Sustaining the Wild Coast's (SWC) focuses on assisting traditional rural communities living along Pondoland's Wild Coast, in the northern coastal regions of the former Transkei of South Africa's Eastern Cape Province, to create a positive future for themselves. You can view the SWC Awesome SA article here.
SWC works with Wild Coast communities to find sustainable solutions that improve local livelihood prospects, while respecting local cultural traditions and maintaining the wealth of natural biodiversity and unique ‘sense of place’ that the Wild Coast is re-known for. One of SWC's focus area's involves promoting public awareness about issues and concerns affecting the Wild Coast and its residents, through articles and news reports and by assisting and encouraging journalists, writers and film-makers to provide in-depth and well-informed coverage of topics concerning the area.
Two recent developments causing much concern for local people are ongoing proposals to open cast mining in the area, and the proposed routing of a tolled highway, a new extension to the existing N2 national road, through the region. SWC's dedicated Too Great a Toll fund is helping Wild Coast communities with resources to legally challenge the government's approval of the N2 ‘Wild Coast’ tolled highway. The Wild Coast communities are legally challenging the lack of proper consultation and other serious legal deficiencies in the N2 proposals Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
In Richard Branson's Screw Business as Usual, he is calling for people to turn capitalism upside down – to shift our values, to switch from a profit focus to caring for people, communities and the planet. He inspires both businesses and individuals to embark on a whole new way of doing things, solving major problems and turning our work into something we both love and are proud of.
Imagine if those driving the open cast mining and the building of a tolled highway - through one of the most pristine and unique wild areas of South Africa - would alternatively put their money into the following areas. Support the people who live on the Wild Coast in maintaining their cultural and ecological heritage, as Sustaining the Wild Coast is doing, with the following projects:-
Awesome SA is calling on South Africans who value and are proud of our country, to support the rural communities living on the Pondoland Wild Coast. We are calling for support from all areas of the globe and ask that you add your voices to the call of the Pondoland people.
Sustaining the Wild Coast needs support, because you know what... the future is not a place that we are going to go; it’s a place that we are going to create. Please reference Too Great A Toll when making donations to assist the Pondoland people in funding the legal challenge to sustain the Wild Coast. More details can be found on the SWC website www.swc.org.za. You can follow SWC on Twitter - @SWCOAST & on Facebook - SustainingtheWildCoast.
Nqileni is home to a vibrant rural community where times have sometimes been tough; migrant labour has taken its toll on family structure and health service & education have been difficult to access. But in spite of these challenges, the typical scene at sunset is children singing beautiful harmonies as they walk up the hills together on their way home, Mama’s laughing together as they collect water from nearby springs while men and boys effortlessly herd their cattle home to their kraals. The Xhosa traditions are strongly adhered to and are respected by Traditionalists and the Religious alike.
Email Reservations to:
A crowd of bemused holiday makers gathered on the beach at Hole in the Wall yesterday where a small penguin had set ashore nursing an injured leg. As it is tagged (S29329), it definitely has had human contact before and seems to have landed at the busiest beach in the area specifically looking for help from humans. Especially as it is over 1000km away from its usual habitat.
The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus, Xhosa name: Nombombiya, and also known as the Black-footed Penguin) is an endangered species and there are fewer than 100,000 left in the world.
A hiker from nearby Coffee Bay turned out to be a marine biologist from Hawaii, and advised Charlene from Hole in the Wall Hotel on the correct care for the docile, cute little fuzzy, who whacked down 4 sards for dinner, and another 3 for breakfast this morning.
Some of the comments are really funny. E.g.:
09:06am on 30 May 2011
Respect your leaders and stop complaining. They have decided that we must pay in many ways to use the roads. Money from the roads sometimes needs to go to more important areas like election campaigns and transport and security for our esteemed leaders. We are striving to be a first world country and need to look good in the eyes of the world. We need our leaders to travel in style so they are respected by other world leaders. Do you expect our leaders to use an old vespa to travel to VIP functions? Do you think it would be classy fir our leader to use an old Nokia 3310 with pay as you go? No. Our leaders need the latest technology and need to travel in the style they have become accustomed to. Just as it's the right thing to pay TV license, it is the right thing to pay your toll fees it is not our right to question who gets these road tenders nor who owns these companies. Doing so would be disrespectful to our leaders. We should get back to work and stop complaining about paying for valuable services. We are not VIPs, we are the working class. We are there to work, they are there to lead and put food onto our dinner tables and provide fir our families. Do not bite the hand that feeds you.
May 30 2011 at 07:41am
By Deon De Lange
The controversial Gauteng toll road system is just the start of a string of tolls across the country designed to plug a multibillion-rand hole in the government’s road maintenance bill, according to Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele.
Responding to a recent parliamentary question, Ndebele revealed that the so-called “user pay” principle - which he claims will only be applied when required - will go some way towards relieving the state’s R149 billion road maintenance shortfall.
“The ‘user-pay’ (toll) principle is government policy, but is used selectively and only where feasible, and when used, the benefits outweigh the cost to the road user,” he said.
Ndebele also noted that the price tag for maintenance backlogs excluded periodic resurfacing of the road network, the upgrading of gravel roads to tarred surfaces, adding new lanes to existing roads and the construction of new roads to ease congestion on busy routes.
The Gauteng toll system was widely criticised earlier this year when the proposed fees of 66c/km were announced, prompting Ndebele to stop the process while he consulted affected constituencies.
These include taxi operators, who want to be exempted from the toll fees.
Long-haul transport companies have also warned that the new fees will raise the cost of all consumer products as these are transported mainly by road. And they have suggested that, in the absence of an efficient alternative such as rail, companies have little choice but to move products by road.
Other tolls in the pipeline include: the N1-N2 Winelands Toll Highway (171km); N2 Wild Coast Toll Highway (560km); R300 Cape Town Ring Road (105km); R30 Bloemfontein to Welkom (160km); N3 Marianhill to Cedara (90km); and the controversial N2 Knysna Bypass (35km).
“This is part of the South African National Roads Agency’s long-term planning strategy for the national road network,” the minister said.”Extensive investigation and evaluation would be done before any final decisions were taken about further tolling, he said.
“The introduction of toll roads is related to the backlogs that exist with regard to the (national road network) and the associated funding constraints by the fiscus.
“This makes it extremely challenging for the required remedial measures to be implemented, as and when required, resulting in the continued deterioration – if not arrested timeously – of the road network,” Ndebele explained.
He emphasised that toll fee structures would exclude the initial capital outlay and that users would only be paying for upkeep on the section of road they actually used.
Money collected from tolls would also be “ring-fenced” to be used exclusively for maintenance on the applicable route.
This comes after an Independent Newspapers investigation revealed on Friday that a private company appeared to have acted as judge, jury and executioner in the Gauteng toll road project.
The investigation found that a local road engineering company was contracted to do everything from the initial feasibility studies to the costing of the plans and finally the engineering of the project, including the building and operation of the toll gantries.
Sanral has denied any impropriety, saying the company’s services were obtained at a 20 percent discount.
The company’s involvement in the feasibility study – and later in other aspects of the project – did not constitute a conflict of interest, Sanral said.
However, critics have called for the entire process to be stopped and for all contracts, tenders and agreements to be opened up to public scrutiny.
Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven, who has criticised the fact that parts of the project were outsourced to the private sector, has indicated that the trade union federation plans to take the issue to the streets with protest actions.
DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom has also cried foul, suggesting the closed process followed so far prevents public representatives from ensuring that the government is getting bang for its buck in the project.
The minister suggested that the budgets available from the national fiscus were “insufficient” to cover the state’s road maintenance obligations and therefore road users will have to help foot the bill.
This will free up available government resources for other roads in need of repair.
However, the envisioned tolls will only cover 3 120km – or 2.4 percent – of the country’s 135 000km network of surfaced roads - Political Bureau
A SEA Pledge is a commitment everyone can make through a written and or monetary pledge to treat the seas, estuaries, coasts and oceans in an environmentally friendly manner. SEA Pledge is more than just a pledge; it is about achieving sustainability, creating opportunities, impacting lives and changing people’s life choices through Sustainable Education and Skills Centres, which will provide education and skills training to help marginalized people who depend upon the seas and other natural resources to find alternative forms of livelihoods and alleviate poverty, while promoting sustainable practices. SEA Pledge and SEAS Centres will be officially launched during COP 17 in a spectacular, fun event that aims to set world records among surfers, divers, swimmers, anglers, yachters, shipping-lines and many others. Visit: www.seacc.org.za/projects/10 or Email email@example.com for more information on how YOU can get involved! "
ANC outrage at toll roads
2 June 2010
By Arthi Sanpath and Bheki Mbanjwa
Opposition to toll roads in the Durban area is building to tsunami proportions as the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal urged motorists to avoid the new King Shaka International Airport toll.
It also said it was flabbergasted at the tolling decisions, including the proposed booths on the N2 just south of Durban. In its most damning criticism yet of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), ANC provincial secretary, Sihle Zikalala, said people should use the alternative route (R102) to and from the airport.
The party's provincial executive committee this week also said the idea of erecting a toll road near Amanzimtoti was ill-conceived, one that would impact negatively on commuters.
It criticised Sanral for not consulting stakeholders such as the eThekwini Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal government.
"The ANC is flabbergasted by Sanral's approach of constructing tollgates without even consulting the people who are affected by such tollgates. The ANC in KZN will continue to engage the national Minister of Transport, S'bu Ndebele, with a view to stopping the construction of the proposed tollgate," Zikalala said.
"The only real and sustainable industry that can uplift and feed the communities in the areas of Pondoland and Transkei, is Tourism. All the natural assets are there to be managed correctly. The surest and quickest way to destroy a world renowned wilderness area is to cut a highway through its heart." -Fred Orban
For those interested, the attached N2_petition-email.pdf was submitted and officially accepted by the department yesterday. (This "public" version attached herewith has had the email addresses stripped out for obvious reasons.)
As at 19 May 2010 - 9:00AM - 1711 people had signed the Petition at www.wildcoast.co.za/ict4d/petition.
CASABio (Collaborative Archive of South African Biodiversity) is an NGO dedicated to the conservation of the earth's species.
Their bottom line is: get involved!!!
It's one way you CAN help protect our natural heritage.
CASABIO have submitted the following protest posters against the destruction of our Pondoland Center of Endemism:
Sign the Petition at www.wildcoast.co.za/ict4d/petition before the close of business on Tuesday 18 May 2010!
Bishop Geoff Davies - 6 May 2010
The Wild Coast continues to be under threat from both the application to undertake sand dune mining and the N2 toll highway. The record of decision (ROD) for the N2 toll road was released on 19 April. It is stated that objections need to be made before 19th May. We are asking for an extension to this deadline but we are also told that DEAT is requiring a notice of intention to appeal. We attach this notice. We write now to ask that if you are registered as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP) and wish to appeal, that you send in this form.
Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) will shortly issue a brief outline regarding our concerns. We believe it best if comments come from a denomination or a congregation or a faith community, though an individual may also object. If you are not registered as an I&AP but wish to object, please do it through SAFCEI. We will include your appeal with ours.
Please sign the petition online here:
Development, for the people of Pondoland, does not depend solely on the N2 toll road passing through the greenfields of this fragile biosphere.
However the continued existence of the PCE does, without a doubt, depend on it not doing so.
Please sign this petition and forward it to everyone you can.
Read more here: www.wildcoast.co.za/tollroad
Taralyn Bro The Weekend Post
THE N2 Wild Coast Toll Road has moved one step closer to becoming a reality after the government this week gave its construction a tentative thumbs-up.
The issuing on Monday of a record of decision by the Department of Environmental Affairs authorising construction of the road is the latest in a long line of action – or inaction – around the mega-billion-rand project. Objectors now have less than a month to say why they believe construction should not go ahead. The authorisation has been granted as long as environmental concerns raised in the final environmental impact assessment report – released in December – are heeded.
More than 7800 submissions from the public were included in the report, which was started afresh in 2007 by CCA Environmental (Pty) Ltd after the original EIA was shelved in 2004.
If approved, the project will extend over roughly 560km between the N2 Gonubie interchange and the N2 Isipingo interchange (south of Durban).
Twenty-five new tolls will be built, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal.
The new route will be about 75km shorter than the existing N2 via Kokstad. Building cost was estimated at R6.4-billion in 2007.
PRESS RELEASE 12 -04 -2010
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.