Some of you might be aware of reports about possible illegal fishing vessel activity along the Wild Coast over the last few years. As the authorities seem to happily take the stance that 'if we don't see it then it ain't happening' Val Payn from SWC (www.swc.org.za) thought it might be useful if members of the public could help to become 'eyes and ears' to try and gauge the extent of the problem.
If you are down at the Wild Coast and happen to see/hear what might be 'suspicious fishing vessel activity' within the Pondoland Protected Marine Zone then please make a note of the time and place, and any other details that you can, and if possible try and get some photos or any other 'eye witness' evidence.
You can pass this onto email@example.com or
PO Box 44, Harding, 4680.
Please include your contact details.
Please pass this onto anyone else who might visit the Wild Coast.
Open letter to the Press (Author unknown)
The N2 ‘Wild Coast’ Toll Rd EIA appears to have resurrected a widespread and extremely short-sighted myth which is common in economic circles. This myth is that ecological losses are justified if they result in economic gains.
The N2 Toll Road EIA points out that the proposed highway will result in substantial damage to the environment, particularly the extension through the ‘Greenfields’ section which traverses the Pondoland Centre of Plant Endemism. It defends these negative environmental impacts by claiming that economic benefits will outweigh ecological losses. This myth has been widely perpetuated by a number of local media reports concerning the N2 project.
Dear friends of the Wild Coast.
Don Guy has generously made a documentary film that draws on all the 50/50 reports on the Wild Coast dune mining saga over the past five years. It will be entered in the 2009 Durban WildTalk film festival in April, and will be made available as a DVD to SWC (www.swc.org.za) for educational purposes.
The DVD cannot be sold as the SABC retains copyright, but SWC will need to cover costs of copying and distribution. It would be helpful to get some idea of the demand for the film so please let them know if you would be interested in having a copy of the DVD, and how they might go about covering the costs.
Please send an email to John G I Clarke (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating your interest and how many copies you think you could distribute.
The book is available directly from the author (email@example.com) for R150.00 plus R20 packaging and postage.
It's also available at BookWorld, Cascades, Pietermaritzburg, The Outspan Inn, Port St Johns, and Clarke’s Bookshop in Cape Town.
The following review is from The Witness
Clive Dennison has had a love affair with his “Garden of Eden” — or the Wild Coast — for as long as he can remember. It was where he decided biochemistry was his passion in life; where he was able to bond with his father through fishing; where he could be naughty and climb up a forbidden lighthouse; and where he spent time with the people he loved the most. The Wild Coast was for Dennison, like for many South Africans living in the fast lane, an escape; a place to feel free and adventurous.
Dennison has captured the “brief” history of this tumultuous area in his book, A Brief History of the Wild Coast, which gives a better understanding of who has occupied the shores of the Wild Coast and what impact this has had on the area as a whole. The book is easy to read and has a fresh style about it. It is as if Dennison is sitting next to you on a Wild Coast beach, embarking upon another tale about Captain Turner, or Dr Drewe or perhaps even his favourite character, millionaire medicine man Khotso Sethuntsa.
From the "who do they think they're fooling" department:
Daily Dispatch 2008/11/18
By ANDREW STONE
THE economic spin-offs of a proposed N2 toll road through the ecologically sensitive Wild Coast outweighed potential damage to the environment and loss of wildlife diversity.
This is according to a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) r eleased last week for public comment.
The report, with a 69-page executive summary, was undertaken for the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
The release is the latest step in the proposed construction of the motorway from Buffalo City through Transkei to Isipingo south of Durban, cutting out 85km of the existing N2 route. It will be interspersed with seven main toll plazas.
But the proposed motorway has environmentalists in a froth, who said together with planned mining of sensitive coastal dunes in the same area it could have a “disastrous” impact.
Their horses are sound and well schooled; so whether you are an experienced rider or absolute beginner, you will enjoy the spectacular beaches, fabulous mountain views and peaceful forests.
Come and enjoy some time on the Wild Coast and help our kids with computer literacy, eco-schools (environment) projects, sport and other extra-curricular activities.
The program addresses the needs of two increasingly important developmental areas of the Eastern Cape in South Africa: Education and the Environment.
The focal area of VA32° south is the Transkei Wild Coast.
Under the apartheid government from the1950’s – 1994, the Transkei and other Bantustan "homelands" remained deliberately underdeveloped regions from which the dominant white economic sector could draw on a consistent labor pool who were largely denied access to equal opportunities within society, and were therefore unable to challenge the monopoly at an academic and economic level.
The region today remains for the most part an undeveloped, rural enclave within South Africa. Access to effective education, resources and equal opportunities are leading challenges facing the communities of the Wild Coast.
YOU CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Posted on November 10th, 2008 (http://www.swc.org.za/wild-coast-toll-road-eia-public-participation-flaw...)
Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) calls upon the government of South Africa to reject out of hand the latest attempt to gain support for the ill-conceived Wild Coast Toll Road.
Over three and a half years ago the previous EIA was turned down by the Minister of Environment Affairs because of “inappropriate links” between environmental consultants Bohlweki and the consortium of construction companies proposing the unsolicited bid for a high speed link between Durban and East London.
The new scoping report and EIA for the N2 ‘ Wild Coast’ Toll road has been completed and is available for download from the websites www.nra.co.za or www.ccaenvironmental.co.za or by contacting Theo Hansford. Tel 011 447 6037 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Draft EIR will be made available for an eight-week comment period from Monday 10 November 2008 to Friday 9 January 2009 in order to provide I&APs an opportunity to comment on any aspect of the EIA to date.
Public open days to present the contents of the report will be held by the consultants, in KZN and Wild Coast region, at the following venues :- (IAPs are invited between any of the following times)...
Hike along the pristine stretch of coastline from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, and stay along the way in traditional Xhosa huts.
Contact: Jimmy Selani, the Tour Guide from Mtumbane (PSJ) on 082 507 2256 (+27 international dialing code), or check their website for more info: www.wildcoasthikes.com.
Jimmy was voted South African Tourism's 'Best Emerging Guide of the Year 2004'. Charismatic and fluent in English, he's a fount of information on the area and its people - the perfect chaperone.
UPDATE: There is now an official website: www.wildcoasthikes.com
A walk on the wild side
By Fiona McIntosh (http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/article.php?page_id=2031)
Trekking between local settlements along the wave-bashed Wild Coast, Fiona McIntosh finds deserted beaches, shipwrecks and a very warm welcome.
Anyone for a beer?" inquired Jimmy, holding up a plastic carton. Even in the dim light of the mud hut the milky brew looked vile.
We were treated to a glimpse of the royal brothers as they overnighted at the Hole in the Wall hotel yesterday. They are currently on a charity motorcycle ride from Port Edward to Port Elizabeth (good colonial names those, hehe), along with about 120 other riders.
I was warned to ask permission before taking any photos; so I approached their table hesitantly but was politely and diplomatically declined. Ah well. Not that I'm much of a royalist anyway, but I certainly wouldn't want to impose.
Later we went to Coffee Bay and bumped into a good friend at the Ocean View Hotel, who was busy showing a table of British paparazzi some photos of William as he was refueling at the petrol station. She also got the back of Harry, as he had seen her camera, and he gave her a cheeky grin as he quickly turned his back and slipped his helmet on. Several people have offered her real money for the photos.
The weather today is fine and clear, but there's a roaring North Westerly blowing. Their destination is unknown, but is believed to be Mazeppa Bay according to the sagoodnews website: http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/general/princes_william_and_harry_to_ride_th...
Since the site also maintained that they would be overnighting at Coffee Bay and not Hole in the Wall, it's anyone's guess where they will actually end up.
The almost entirely off-road motorcycle ride will raise money for UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Sentebale, founded in 2006 by Prince Harry and Lesotho's Prince Seeiso, for projects in South Africa and Lesotho.
By Judi Davis
South Coast Herald
17 October 2008
Conservationists believe an eco-tourism partnership between the South Coast and the Wild Coast could sound the death knell for dune mining.
Sustaining the Wild Coast anti-dune mining campaigners have described the postponement of the Xolobeni mining license as a "stay of execution".
"However, to ensure that the Xolobeni death sentence is permanently abolished we have to ensure sustainable development for the Wild Coast." said a spokesperson for the organisation, John Clarke.
He was referring to the about-turn the minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica, has made regarding the Xolobeni mining project.
Earlier this year the minister gave Transworld Energy and Minerals, the SA subsidiary of Australian company, Mineral Resource Commodities (ASX:MRC), the go-ahead to mine a section of the dunes in the Xolobeni area of the Wild Coast.
Step into the magic world of rural Africa and experience the traditions of the amaMpondo people in the sub-tropical hills of the Transkei. Witness African shamanism as it is still lived today. Trance-dance into the night to the beat of Ancestral drums.
"Even today the coast where the Grosvenor was lost is a space of great emptiness and profound silences. Its boundaries are difficult to define because it is as much an area of consciousness as it is a geographic location. To start with, though, it can be reached by driving south-west from the South African port city of Durban for about 90 miles to the little seaside town of Port Edward. From there one proceeds on foot - a few miles to the Umtamvuna River, then across it to where a band of unbroken beach begins and stretches for miles ahead into a hazy mist of pale blue It is here where the emptiness begins and where one can mark the beginning of the Wild Coast."
The Caliban Shore - The Fate of the Grosvenor Castaways - by Stephen Taylor (p.94)
This book is well worth buying and treasuring.
Here are some reviews and links to purchase online:
To register as an IAP, kindly contact:
Roxana Le Roux
Senior Environmental Consultant
Coastal & Environmental Services
Postnet Suite 95
Private Bag X 504
Tel: + 27 31 312 4800
Fax: + 27 31 312 5005
The project is approximately 47 km long and 9.8m wide. The road is currently unpaved with a gravel wearing course.
The project will involve the upgrading of the road, where required, to a Class 3 (9.8m wide) bitumen surfaced cross section. All the envisaged roadworks will generally be contained within the limits of the existing road reserve however minor realignments will be required most notably near the Hlulekha Game Reserve.
By Samantha Enslin-Payne and Slindile Khanyile
Durban - The department of minerals and energy will hold public hearings on controversial mining on the Wild Coast after it decided recently to delay the issuing of the certificate that would have enabled Mineral Resource Commodities (MRC) and local subsidiary Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM) to begin mining in the area next month.
Bheki Khumalo, the spokesperson for the department of minerals and energy, said yesterday that the intention to grant the mining licence remained, but the implementation had been delayed.
At the time of going to press MRC, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange, had yet to inform shareholders of the delay. The company's local representatives could not be reached for comment.
29 September 2008
A PROJECT to mine titanium in the Xolobeni region of Eastern Cape, granted to Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM), has been stopped in its tracks by Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica.
This after an internal appeal from a community organisation, the AmaDiba Crisis Committee, represented by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC).
The licence to mine, originally granted by the minerals and energy department, was supposed to come into effect at the end of next month.
But the committee appealed the licence, saying that it would change the community's traditional way of life and result in the forced eviction of people from their ancestral homes, loss of grazing land and relocation of their ancestral graves.
In its appeal, the committee said the consultation process TEM was obliged to undertake was flawed.
COULD it be that justice is prevailing and that the Australian-led titanium mining project at Xolobeni on the Wild Coast will be shelved?
Notice to this effect surfaced when Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica admitted for the first time last week that the consultation process into the planned multi-billion rand project was “flawed”.
Her comments follow a heated meeting at Xolobeni, where AmaMpondo King Mpondomini Sigcau, through his lawyer, demanded that the mining licence be withdrawn and that a proper investigation into the project be conducted.
The regent made it clear that tourism is preferred over mining, prompting Sonjica to concede that “no proper procedures were taken”.
“Now I know things I did not know; something is not right, and I have to correct it,” she said.