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".
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."
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 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.
See you in the saddle soon! Website: www.mkulukeihorsetrails.co.za
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
Participants can expect some of the most spectacular ‘wild running’ terrain. Cattle and fishermen paths provide clear tracks up and over the grassy headlands peppered by Nguni's and brightly painted traditional kraals.
The spectacular cliffs south of Morgan Bay will give you a bird’s eye view of the rugged beauty of this coastline whilst the rusting carcasses of numerous shipwrecks passed on route bear testimony to the dynamic energy of this wild coastline. Participants should also be prepared for some river crossings – depending on the time and tide these could mean an ankle wetting for some and a refreshing swim for others.
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! "
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:
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 with scant regard for communities and environment.
The first document came in the form of the terms of reference issued by roads agency Sanral to an environmental consultancy for the proposed N2 toll highway, which hugs the coastal sites that prospective miners are eyeing. The terms of reference specifically instruct the consultant to provide “a strong motivation for excluding the R61 and current N2 as options”.
Imagine the outrage if the assessment for a fictional new highway between Durban and Johannesburg was not compared with the impact of upgrading the N3.
That we even have sight of these terms of reference is thanks to Cullinan & Associates, which applied under the Promotion of Access to Information Act. It acts for the Sigidi, Baleni and Mdatya communities, the Khimbili Property Association and residents in the amaDiba tribal authority.
The law firm first successfully opposed environmental authorisation for the proposed N2 highway in 2004, sending Sanral back to the drawing board.
Senior director Cormac Cullinan says: “It’s indisputable that if the new road doesn’t go ahead, it will have a major impact on the financial viability of mines... That’s a strong reason why they didn’t want to consider the existing route.”
The toll road appeal is now with the Department of Environmental Affairs. Cullinans alleges Sanral appears to have intended to mislead the minister because the agency initially denied its consultant had been specifically excluded from considering certain alternatives.
The second document to come to light is the nearly year-old report by Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA chief Patekile Holomisa, who led a task team assessing the award of a 2008 mining right to Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources to mine titanium on the Kwanyana block of Xolobeni on the Wild Coast.
The Department of Mineral Resources finally made Holomisa’s report public last week, and it is rather instructive. It points out that Transworld indicated a feasibility study would be carried out “as soon as the mining right is formally granted” – whereas the law requires proof that the mineral can be mined optimally. The report asks whether Transworld was allowed to dictate the processing of the application.
It also points out the mining right was granted without an environmental impact assessment, environmental management plan or further attention given to any of the department’s own stated requirements.
There was no study of the benefits of mining versus ecotourism and issues raised by the Department of Environmental Affairs were not addressed. The Department of Mineral Resources opted to reconvene the task team, which will hold hearings in Durban this month.
There is a third leg to the saga, a legal wrangle over the Commission for Traditional Leadership’s decision to dislodge amaPondo King Mpondombini Sigcau from the throne. Webber Wentzel says “a gross injustice to (our) clients appears to have been done, which cannot go unchallenged”.
Is it a coincidence that the deposed royals oppose both the Xolobeni mining and the N2 toll road?
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:
Details of SWC bank account:
Account Name: SWC
Bank: First National Bank
Account No. 62157997639
Branch Code: 254005
Note - No orders will be taken without prior full payment.
Next time you're in Coffee Bay, be sure to pick up one of these ingenious purses made by the local children from old cartons.
If you'd like to place an order for some unique Christmas presents, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Only R30 each! (Postage extra)
All proceeds go to the kids who make them.
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.
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.
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.
Mentor-ring Volunteer Project for more info.
You may also be interested in these other Wild Coast Volunteer projects:
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.
Inkwenkwezi offers a variety of activities to guests, such as guided safaris, hiking trails, horse trails, canoeing, quad biking, mountain biking, elephant interactions and elephant back safaris.
Conference and team building facilities are also offered at Inkwenkwezi. Feel free to email us at email@example.com and we will gladly assist you.
Weddings at the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve are as romantic and unique as the love that brings you here. Have your dreams come true at our beautiful Wild Coast wedding venue.
"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.
Winner of two SAFTA Awards:
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.
Shoreline takes the viewer to life at the waters edge.
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!
The next 21.1km "White Clay Cross Country Challenge" is 23 August 2014.
Contact: For more info please phone Roy or Karen at White Clay on 047-575 0008 or 083-979 4499. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) White Clay Resort is situated 1,5 km south of Coffee Bay on the “Hole in the Wall” road on the Wild Coast, nestled between the cliffs and only 100 m from its own private beach and bay. The setting is unrivaled with vast, rolling hills and rocky cliffs shearing off into the ocean. All accommodation is sea-facing offering guests fabulous vistas. The bay and private beach below is ideal for fishing and swimming at low tide. The resort offers self-catering, a Guest House with B&B and DB&B, camping, and a pub, curio shop and restaurant with full sea view specializing in seafood. Attractions in the area include fabulous rock, surf and river fishing, deep sea boat charter, hiking trails between the magnificent “Hole in the Wall” in the south and Mdumbi Beach in the north.
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.
This applies to anywhere within 1km from the high-water mark along the Wild Coast from Kei Mouth up to Port Edward. You may not drive a motor vehicle in this exclusion zone without a permit. This includes quad and motor bikes, etc. If a proclaimed road goes all the way down to the sea you can then walk left or right to your angling spots from that point. If the road stops 1km before the sea and a bush path carries on towards the sea, you will have to walk from where the proclaimed road ends. You may not ride these trails.
Contact details to aquire a permit are:
Tel: Edwina Oates - 043 740 4068
Fax: 086 519 3200
Thanks to www.fishingec.co.za for the information.
Active Escapes offer unique mountain bike and guided hiking trail tours along the Wild Coast.
For more information about cycling or hiking the Wild Coast, please see www.wildcoast.com/active-escapes or check their website.
For the past 3 years DEAT SRPP (Social Responsibility, Policy & Projects) has funded the Mussel Rehabilitation Project (MRP) which has been implemented by Walter Sisulu University along the Wild Coast between Umtata Mouth and Hole in the Wall.
Download the video: Mussel Harvest
The initiative has, without a doubt, been one of the most successful and effective social responsibility projects in the Eastern Cape. It has not only proven that rehabilitation and controlled harvesting of mussel beds is sustainable, but has literally produced tons of protein rich mussels for the benefit of the local community, while also contributing employment, skills training, environmental awareness, resource monitoring, catch-data collation, and many other vital linkages and benefits.
Operating since 2000 under the care and guidance of Zoology lecturer, Dr. Calvo-Ugarteburu (affectionately known by all as “Gugu”), the Mussel Rehabilitation & Food Production Project has been funded variously by Marine & Coastal Management (MCM), WWF, and DEAT SRPP.