Wild Coast toll road decision is shameful

  • Posted on: 30 July 2011
  • By: JB
http://www.themercury.co.za/wild-coast-toll-road-decision-is-shameful-1.1108434 July 29 2011 at 11:29am Wild Coast toll road decision is shameful SILLY, silly me. All these years I have laboured under the illusion that the prime duty of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and its minister was to protect our water resources and be the steward of our environment. That is the role that was played in the past when the ministries were separate, by ministers like Kader Asmal and Valli Moosa. But now it increasingly seems as though the ministry, under Edna Molewa, has abdicated its stewardship role, and has again become a Cinderella ministry that bows to pressure from big business, industry and more “senior” government ministries. How else to explain two recent decisions which are totally inimical to the future of our wild areas and of our environment?

N2 Toll road decision

  • Posted on: 30 July 2011
  • By: JB
Minister of Water & Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, has approved the controversial N2 tollroad through the environmentally sensitive Pondoland Centre of Endemism. In a 21 page fax sent out to IAPs she dismissed all 49 appeals lodged in objection to the new road. What is clear is that the minister is being a "loyal cadre" and carrying out the wishes of the ANC, while betraying her office and responsibilities to the environment. Download the Fax here: 184635892.pdf 26 of the appeals were dismissed out of hand due to the fact that they address socio-economic impacts of the tolling; which was the responsibility of the dept of transport and the SANRAL Act. Concerns about ribbon, or linear development were not possible to consider because it would be based on only "potential future developments" and were dismissed. A major concern addressed by numerous appeals was SANRAL's bias towards the new 75km section of road between Lusikisiki and Mzamba and against the upgrading of the existing R61. The "Terms of Reference for Environmental Consultant N2 Wild Coast Toll Road Project" (TOR) included a requirement that there must be "due consideration of alternative options and a strong motivation for excluding the R61 and current N2 as alternative options".

Outrage over N2 approval

  • Posted on: 30 July 2011
  • By: JB
Opponents of the N2 toll road that will snake through the Wild Coast are ready to take their battle to the highest court following the controversial road's approval by Environment Minister Edna Molewa this week. The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has fought tooth and nail to build the road from Durban to East London for the past 10 years but has faced fierce opposition from environmentalists, the local community and civil society. Sanral argues that the Wild Coast community is one of the poorest in the country and would be well served by the development of a road system to encourage tourism and open up the region to economic opportunities. "We are shocked by the decision, but not really surprised," said Cormac Cullinan, lawyer for the local community opposing the road. "Considering the political support this project had, it was just a matter of time before the road was approved." Two years ago, before appeals were lodged against the road, Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka told the SABC: "The N2 road is going ahead. We will make sure that this thing goes ahead."

Penguin visits Hole in the Wall

  • Posted on: 11 July 2011
  • By: JB
Inyoni (AKA Slipway)Inyoni (AKA Slipway)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.

Cher-a-Don Mkulu Kei Horse Trails

Cher-a-Don Mkulu Kei Horse Trails is an award winning, owner-run horse trail company established in 1998. We offer guided horse trekking vacations on well trained horses for all riding abilities, catering from small to large groups, offering short day rides as well as multi-day trekking along the Wild Coast. Beginners to advanced riders of all ages are welcome. Beach rides are approximately 2 hours, leaving at 9:30am and 2:30pm every day. Booking is essential. Our overnight Wild Coast horse trails into the Transkei, range from 2 to 12 days, hopping from hotel to hotel along the pristine coast line. We also offer volunteer/ career break/ gap year opportunities for anyone who would like to take part in a working holiday. A warm welcome and an unforgettable equestrian experience await all visitors to Mkulu Kei Horse Trails.

Join the Jikeleza Jog -2011

Be one of the early pioneers to trail run along sunkissed beaches a distance of some 65 kilometres through Wild Coast Wilderness. This inaugural event is to be held over the June long weekend which is fortuitously timed over a full moon so that runners can take advantage of golden miles of hard-pack beach on the spring low-tide with less probability of rain and comfortable daily temperature. The daily run/hike distances are within easy reach of the social jogger and avid hiker with a keen sense of adventure. If you're not sweating for a podium placing, there's plenty of time each day to kick off your shoes, catch your breath under the cool shade of a milkwood or take a refreshing dip in the ocean along the way. The route is unmarked and unmanned, but basic maps will be provided and keeping the sea on your left will guide you to the finish each day. Participants will race as pairs and for those teams competing for a podium position, there will be optional diversions to collect checkpoints along the route Running Terrain

Raptor's View for sale

Unique opportunity to own a piece of the Wild Coast With a commanding ocean view from Brazenhead to Mbolompo, Raptors View is a picturesque self-catering resort with bar and bistro set atop the rolling green hills between Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall. With 5 separate self-catering units on a 5300 square meter property, the establishment has massive potential as a backpackers, resort, or simply private accommodation. For more information, kindly contact Delene Murray: Email: raptorsviewcb@gmail.com Cell: 083-333 4409 Website: www.wildcoast.co.za/raptorsview

Wild Coast plans show preference for mining

Click on the map for full size view (1.5Mb) From: www.iol.co.za February 8, 2011 By Ingi Salgado For some time, the state has withheld two pieces of information with significance for mining along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. Under much pressure, the government has now released both. Both documents are shocking, but taken together, they paint a cynical picture of a potentially concerted effort to engineer an economically viable dispensation for mining on the Wild Coast running parallel to the planned N2 routewith scant regard for communities and environment.

SWC/ PONDOLAND 2011 CALENDAR

Well known Kwazulu-Natal midlands water-colour artist, Joan Bastard, has kindly put together a calendar of paintings for SWC, depicting scenes of Transkei and Pondoland. These calendars are selling for R150 each, of which R30/ calendar is donated to SWC. The remainder goes towards printing costs and artist commission. The calendars are printed on high quality paper and make wonderful mementos and gifts. If you would like to order a calendar (or a whole bunch for your friends, colleagues, office, or family) then please follow these steps:
  • Make full payment to SWC bank account, detailing your name and the code 2011Cal as reference.
  • Send proof of payment, and your postal address, together with the number of calendars you have ordered to swcoastval@gmail.com. Details of SWC bank account: Account Name: SWC Bank: First National Bank Branch: Randburg Account No. 62157997639 Branch Code: 254005
  • Latest developments in the Wild Coast Mining and N2 Toll rd saga

    • Posted on: 15 September 2010
    • By: JB
    The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) and Legal Resource Centre (LRC) demands decision from the department “by no later than 28 September 2010”, failing which the matter will be taken to High Court. Social worker John Clarke has provided the following summary of developments, and opinion. Xolobeni Mining  We are still waiting for DG of Mineral Resources, Sandile Nogcina, to announce the outcome of the appeal by the Amadiba Crisis Committee.  It has been over two years since the appeal was lodged.

    Volunteer on the Wild Coast

    • Posted on: 27 August 2010
    • By: JB
    We are appealing to enthusiastic volunteers to assist rural schools and promote literacy, computer skills, extramural activities, arts and sports development. Experience the magic of Africa and play a vital role in education and bridging the digital divide, while exploring and integrating with the ancient local customs and culture of the Xhosa people. The Mentoring Volunteer Project is based on the Wild Coast, and works with junior secondary schools located in and around Hole in the Wall and nearby Coffee Bay. Please see: Mentor-ring Volunteer Project for more info. You may also be interested in these other Wild Coast Volunteer projects:
  • Volunteer Africa 32° South
  • Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve

    Tucked along South Africa's breathtaking Wild Coast, Inkwenkwezi is a world-class big five game reserve with an emphasis on luxury and thoughtful details. Inkwenkwezi's prime location in the malaria-free Eastern Cape of South Africa offers many unique opportunities, as it encompasses five different regional ecosystems (biomes) and a tidal estuary. This rich diversity of landscape offers unparalleled wildlife viewing. The reserve is just five minutes from magnificent beaches and a short, convenient drive from the East London airport Inkwenkwezi offers spacious and well-appointed luxury tented accommodation to guests in our Valley and Bush Camps; nestled in intimate, leafy settings on the incomparable Wild Coast. Snuggle down into an easy chair to watch the wildlife from the comfortable perch of your own timber viewing deck at Inkwenkwezi Private game Reserve. ACTIVITIES:

    Petition submission

    "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.

    Our Shoreline DVD box set

    Click here for more information, or to purchase from: Impact Video. (Price R279) Winner of two SAFTA Awards:
  • Best Factual Educational Entertainment
  • Best Cinematographer Shoreline explores the nearly 3000 kilometers of the South African coastline - stretching from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic coast southwards around the tip of Africa and then north to the border with subtropical Mozambique on the Indian Ocean.
  • Villi Meri

    From: Africa Calling Several times during the course of my wanderings in Oulu I saw beautiful posters of dolphins. They said Villi Meri…couldn’t figure out if it was one of those aquariums like Deep Sea World in Edinburgh or was it a movie. Google and Google translator to the rescue – Villi Meri means Wild Ocean. It was a film being screened at Tietomaa Science Center in Oulu, with special screenings in English on request! Tag line for the movie – Africa meets the Sea. Africa...has been on my wish list for as long as I can remember. Even as a young girl in school I remember seeing photographs of my cousins who had visited Mombasa in East Africa, and thinking …gosh I do so want to be there too!!!! The centre boasts of a magnificent super screen theatre. Believe you me, it not one of those kahli peeli boasts. The screen was super-duper. The movie overall was a documentary to raise awareness of the effects of pirate fishing and global warming on the marine life. It lays stress on the fact that only 1/100th part of a percent of the seas is protected and the need for marine reserves. But it was based around a place called the Wild Coast on the coast of South Africa, where shoals of sardines head towards the coast in June/July every year. They are followed by all kinds of predators – various species of Dolphins, Sharks, Whales, Seals and Gannets. The Gannets can plunge midflight to depths as deep as 10 mts to catch the fish!

    Warning: Permits required for Wild Coast

    This is important information if you are planning on going on holiday, day trip or fishing along the Transkei Wild Coast: You will need a permit to travel to cottages that are not on proclaimed or designated roads. (E.g. the road to the Jacaranda.) If you do not have a permit for these routes you may be charged by the Green Scorpions and given a spot fine of R2500. If you are a cottage owner and your cottage is not on a proclaimed road you will need to present your PTO (Permission To Occupy) at the Environmental office and acquire a permit to travel on the track to your cottage. No permits will be awarded to anyone without a valid PTO. Cottage owner permits are valid for one year. If you are traveling to a cottage that is not on a proclaimed road you will need a letter from the PTO holder which you can present at the offices to acquire a temporary permit. There is no charge for the permit. The permit is valid for one month.

    Active Escapes - Hiking & Biking Adventures on the Wild Coast

    Active Escapes offer unique mountain bike and guided hiking trail tours along the Wild Coast.popup For more information about cycling or hiking the Wild Coast, please see www.wildcoast.com/active-escapes or check their website. Contact: Sarah Drew (Active Escapes) Tel: 084 2407277 or 033 2344367 Email: sarah@active-escapes.co.za Website: www.active-escapes.co.za

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