Opinion piece

I commented recently about the cabinet ministry changes, and made a similar comment about Buyelwa Sonjica (who is now Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs) and her obvious pro-industrialization inclinations, so I think it's fairly appropriate to post  Tonie Carnie's article published in The Mercury on 13 May 2009.

 

White Rhino

Gamekeepers versus poachers in new cabinet May 13, 2009 Edition 1 By Tony Carnie

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Coast to Coast

See www.coastingafrica.com for a comprehensive directory of Wild Coast and Southern African backpacker hostels and lodges.

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Mkambati Nature Reserve

Mkambati

Waterfall into the Indian Ocean

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Buccaneers Lodge & Backpackers

Buccaneers, along with the rest of the Wild Coast backpackers, make for what must be the best backpacking experience in SA.

  • Phone: +27 (0)43 734 3012 | Fax: +27 (0)43 734 3749
  • Website: http://www.cintsa.com/

    “Most travellers will have undoubtedly heard of Buccaneers long before they make it to Cintsa. Many consider it the best backpackers in South Africa” LONELY PLANET

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    Wild Ocean 3D

    Wild Ocean is in an uplifting, giant screen cinema experience capturing one of nature's greatest migration spectacles. Plunge into an underwater feeding frenzy, amidst the dolphins, sharks, whales, gannets, seals and billions of fish. Filmed off the Wild Coast of South Africa, Wild Ocean is a timely documentary that celebrates the animals that now depend on us to survive and the efforts by the local people to protect this invaluable ecological resource.

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    Time for scenic Wild Coast ultra-marathon


    Daily Dispatch

    2009/02/10

    WHAT has to be one of the most beautiful settings of any ultra-marathon this country has to offer, can be seen right here on the Wild Coast.

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    Flood of Objections to Wild Coast Toll Road

    January 29, 2009 press statement by SWC. For immediate release.

    Flood of Objections to Wild Coast Toll Road

    An unprecedented flood of thousands of objections has poured in to the consultants tasked with writing the final Report on the Wild Coast Toll Road EIA, despite holiday season timing for public comment.

    The submissions have come from individuals, communities, businesses,
    environmental organisations and civil society groups, while in Durban, where road users are protesting extra toll booths, local government have joined the chorus.

    Many of the comments have described the EIAR as ‘fatally flawed” in many ways, but particularly in its lack of compliance with required legal standards and adherence to public participation norms.

    It also

  • misleadingly characterises the project as a regional social development initiative
  • misleadingly assesses the benefits of secondary development
  • fails to assess socio-economic impacts
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    DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS N2 TOLL ROAD

    The deadline for public comments on the new N2 Wild Coast Toll road EIA is 22 January.

    Please send your comments to:

    Theo Hansford
    NMA Effective Social Strategists (Pty) Ltd.
    Box 32097
    Braamfontein, 2017.
    Fax: 086 601 0381
    Email: theoh@nma.org.za

    A number of requests were received from people who wished to send in comments against the N2 toll road proposal and in support of SWC (Sustaining the Wild Coast - www.swc.org.za) principles. Val Payn compiled the following (below) for general use. Please feel free to adapt or adjust it however you see fit. You can delete anything you don't personally agree with, or feel free to add any of your own comments that you feel it does not cover, or are more suitable for your own circumstances. You're also welcome to 'personalize' the wording in whatever way you like. However, if you would like to send it exactly as it is, then it is recommended that you include a 'provisio' along the lines of:-

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    Illegal fishing vessels along Wild Coast

    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.

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    Ecology or Economy - Debunking a myth

    Open letter to the Press (Author unknown)

    Dear Editor

    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.

    50/50 & Don Guy's compilation DVD on the Wild Coast dune mining saga over the past five years

    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 (johngic@iafrica.com) indicating your interest and how many copies you think you could distribute.

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    A Brief History of the Wild Coast - by Clive Dennison


    Clive Dennison's book is a must have for all Wild Coast enthusiasts. (It'll make a great Christmas present! Hint, hint.)

    The book is available directly from the author (dennison2@telkomsa.net) 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.

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    N2 route along Wild Coast ‘to benefit locals’

    From the "who do they think they're fooling" department:

    Daily Dispatch 2008/11/18
    By ANDREW STONE
    (http://www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=270854)

    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.

    Horse riding on the Wild Coast!

    Ferry Point in Port St Johns is pleased to announce the availability of daily horse riding on Long Beach, between Ferry Point and Poenskop.

    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.

    Please phone 0475 641 261, or 083 973 6545 to make a booking or to find out more about this fun activity.

    Sibusiso Somakhephu (aka “J.J.”) is your Guide.

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    Volunteer Africa 32˚ South

    Really making a difference!

    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.

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    WILD COAST TOLL ROAD EIA PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FLAWED

    Posted on November 10th, 2008 (http://www.swc.org.za/wild-coast-toll-road-eia-public-participation-flawed.htm)

    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.

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    N2 Toll road scoping report, EIA, and IAP info

    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 theoh@nma.org.za

    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.

    Hiking the Wild Coast

    Really experience it:

    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.

    Prince William and Harry riding the Wild Coast

    before the start of the Enduro Africa 08 charity motorcycle ride in Port Edward

    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.

    Stay of Execution for Xolobeni Dunes

    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.

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