Wild Coast receives R50 million for conservation

By NICOLETTE SCROOBY
www.dispatch.co.za
18 May 2008

ONE of the country’s most pristine areas – the Wild Coast – will receive a cash boost of close to R50 million over the next five years in a bid to conserve the area.
The Wild Coast project, with funding through the United Nations, seeks to establish an effective network of protected areas along one of South Africa’s most scenic routes.

Facilitated by Eastern Cape Parks (ECP) the project plans to:

Information: 

Grave concerns over Xolobeni mine plan

http://www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=197857 - Daily Dispatch article - 30 April 2008

http://www.dispatch.co.za/multimedia/enviroA.pdf
http://www.dispatch.co.za/multimedia/enviroB.pdf

ENVIRONMENTAL Affairs officials had “grave concerns” over the proposed mining at Xolobeni in Transkei – but only objected after deadlines for submissions had closed.

They said the mining would have a significant and permanent impact on several rivers and estuaries.

Their objections were contained in a letter written by Pamela Yako, the former director-general of the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

“The department has grave concerns with regard to the proposed mining developments in the area and object to it,” said Yako, in her December 20, 2007, letter addressed to the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME).

SAHRC raps ministers

Business Day article By Franny Rabkin - 23 April 2008 CONFUSION reigned at a South African Human Rights Commission hearing yesterday into a dispute over the right to exploit mineral sands at Xolobeni, on the Wild Coast, Eastern Cape. The ministers of minerals and energy , agriculture and land affairs, and environmental affairs and tourism were subpoenaed to appear before the commission, which is trying to investigate the problem. Xolobeni residents disagree over the possibility of a mining licence being granted to an Australian company, Mineral Resources , and its South African subsidiary, Transworld Energy Minerals. Some support it, in the hope that it will bring development. Others are against it on environmental grounds.
Information: 

Masimanyane Mussel Rehabilitation Project

  • Posted on: 20 April 2008
  • By: MRP
Click here to view a scanned copy of the Daily Dispatch article. The Masimanyane Mussel Rehabilitation Project in Coffee Bay celebrated their first official harvest of mussels on Saturday 19th April 2008. A few years ago there were no mussels on these rocks where participants in the project can be seen harvesting: The event was attended by tribal leaders, representatives from Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT), Marine & Coastal Management (MCM) & Walter Sisulu University (WSU).

Wild Coast Tourism

"Mining the Pondoland Wild Coast is the moral, cultural and aesthetic equivalent of quarrying Ayers Rock for granite, or the Great Barrier Reef for calcium carbonate." ~Richard Spoor

The Wild Coast is the most beautiful coastline on Earth; and is host to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE)... one of 34 internationally recognized biodiversity hotspots on our planet Earth.

This site is essentially a tourism information portal - where local businesses can register and upload their details and photos on the internet for free. Unfortunately, despite the fact that South Africa is a signatory to the Convention on Biodiversity, our government and certain vested interests are flagrantly threatening the PCE with titanium strip mining - and doing everything in their power to pave the way for autocratic control over the mining industry regardless of environmental impact issues.

Final Notice: Public Hearings: National Environmental Management AB (B36-2007)

  • Posted on: 1 November 2007
  • By: JB

SPECIAL ALERT!

Comments due by today !!!

Public Hearings: National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007)

The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism will be conducting public hearings on the National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007).

Deadline for written submissions: November 2nd, 2007
Public Hearings: November 6th, 2007

Attention:
Ms. Albertina Kakaza
Email: akakaza@parliament.gov.za
Fax: 021 403 2808

Click here to obtain a copy of the Bill.

Contact:
Ms. Albertina Kakaza 021 403 3765

(Note: basically the amendment appears to remove the mining industry from the NEMA (National Environment Management Act) and places overriding authority at the discretion of the minister of minerals and energy. Further, it vitiates environmental controls in favor of the commercial consequences - and allows decisions to be made by any minister or MEC .

Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources Remove Smelter from EIA Process!!

  • Posted on: 28 September 2007
  • By: JB

Letter to Xolobeni IAPs re Revised Scoping - September 2007 Final

The most significant change in the Revised Environmental Scoping Report is therefore the exclusion of the smelter from the Xolobeni Heavy Mineral Sands Project. This implies that the smelter will no longer be considered as part of the project and will also not be assessed in the Environmental Impact Assessment.

The Xolobeni Mineral Sands project is situated approximately 250 km south west of Durban and approximately 60 km south east of Mbizana and 30 km south of Port Edward in the Eastern Cape Province. The prospecting activities undertaken by TEM have indicated the feasibility of mining heavy minerals in the area. In accordance with the requirements of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and the regulations promulgated under Section 24 of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998) (NEMA), an Environmental Scoping Report was compiled and submitted to the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) on 
25 May 2007.

Buy Dwesa Arts & Crafts online

Fort Hare and Rhodes universities' Centres of Excellence have established an e-commerce portal to sell art and crafts manufactured by the community members of Dwesa / Cwebe. Please support this initiative and visit their website at www.dwesa.com. The site is maintained by the Siyakhula project - which aims at developing and field-testing the prototype of a simple, cost-effective and robust, integrated E-business platform in the rural communities of South Africa.

Wild Coast Walk

Bookings for the "hotel-hopping" Wild Coast Walk between Kob Inn (north) and Cintsa (south) can be made through SA Adventure Trails. Phone Paul Colvin on 082-3234022 or email info@trails.co.za The 5 day 4 night trail covers 60km+ of pristine coastline : wide, shell-filled beaches, rocky headlands, coastal forest, estuaries and river mouths. Walk between 15-20 km per day with a guide while your luggage is transferred round to the next hotel in the chain. Stay overnight in comfortable hotel rooms with good food and company and leave next day after a hearty breakfast. After your last night stay you will be picked up and taken back to your start point where your cars will have been safely parked or driven round to East London airport to catch your return flight. Optional side activities include canoeing on the Kei River, horse riding on the beach or spending your last night at a bush camp in a private game reserve.

New species of Clivia (Amaryllidaceae) endemic to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism

Clivia robusta (Amaryllidaceae)
is a tubular, pendulous-flowered Clivia species, restricted to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism, South Africa. The unique morphology, distribution, karyotype and molecular fingerprint distinguish it from all other pendulous-flowered species in the genus.

Distribution
This taxon is endemic to the Pondoland Centre of endemism, with a distribution from Port St. Johns in the south to the Mzimkulu River in the north.

Habitat
Restricted to Msikaba Formation sandstone, the habitat is characterised by rugged plateaus (100-500 m above sea level) that are deeply dissected by narrow river gorges, within which occur isolated forest patches, containing mixed tropical and Afromontane elements. Mean annual rainfall varies from 1 000-1 200 mm and occurs mainly in the summer months. The mean annual temperature along the coast is around 20°C. The soils are usually sandy, acidic, highly leached and often shallow .

Quote of the day!

"An article John Clarke has co-written with Richard Spoor says the threatened area is of inestimable cultural and environmental value. Hosting the Pondoland Centre for Endemism, a global biodiversity hotspot, it is arguably the most beautiful coastline on Earth.

Taking issue with the Australian company, the article adds, "Mining the Pondoland Wild Coast is the moral, cultural and aesthetic equivalent of quarrying Ayers Rock for granite, or the Great Barrier Reef for calcium carbonate."

Read the full Sunday Tribune article on the threat to our dunes - by Leon Marshall.

New threat to our dunes
As an Australian mining company plans to plunder the dunes of the Wild Coast, Leon Marshall ponders whether the lure of jobs and wealth creation will overcome pressing environmental concerns

May 13, 2007 Edition 2

Leon Marshall

Shades of St Lucia are hanging heavily over the Wild Coast, where dune mining is causing divisions in the community. Even the arguments are the same, as are the rising tensions that have led to allegations of threats and acts of violence.

Save the Wild Coast Campaign

Threatened nature in South Africa

Please support the international "Save the Wild Coast Campaign" by sending a letter or fax to the South African President, Thabo Mbeki and the Minister for the Environment, Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Download a specimen letter (RTF file, 10kb)

Thank you very much for your help.

Background Information:

Wildcoast - Pondoland Centre of Endemism

The Pondoland centre of endemism is located in the Eastern Cape Province on the shores of the Indian Ocean of South Africa. The Pondoland Centre, as part of the Maputaland-Pondoland Region, has subsequently been acknowledged as one of the important centres of plant diversity and endemism in Africa. The area is the smallest of the 18 centres of endemism and boasts 1,800 plant species.

The Story of the Pondoland Ghostbush (Raspalia trigyna)

THE GHOST OF THE PONDOLAND CENTRE

Around the turn of the century, this attractive shrub was mentioned by Thomas R. Sim in the 1900 “Agricultural Journal of the Cape of Good Hope” 16:21-42, 104-114. He states that it was “abundant along streams above the (Magwa) falls”. Later on, he records it in his “Forests and Forest Flora of the Cape Colony” published in 1906. It was only known from the Mzikaba Formation, a sandstone outcropping with which the Pondoland Centre of Plant Endemism (PC) (Van Wyk 1994) is congruent. This is a very small centre of 18,800 hectares located across the provincial boundary between the Eastern Cape (formerly known as the Transkei) and KwaZulu-Natal and lies along the coastline stretching no more than 15 or so kilometres inland with a maximum altitude of about 400 to 500 metres.

Xolobeni Mineral Sands Project

This is an appeal to everyone who cares about the future of the Wild Coast to please send a mail to xolobeni@gcs-sa.biz and register as an I&AP.

Download the EIA and IAP registration form

Who are the Interested & Affected Parties? (I&APs)

They are persons who will be directly and indirectly involved and/or affected by the project.

An IAP's role is to:

    § Register with the environmental consultants, who will include you on a database of I&APs in order for you to receive future project information and/or formally record issues and concerns
Information: 

Gladiolus oppositiflorus (Transkei Gladiolus)

Gladioli are colorful garden plants that have been grown in Europe for more than 250 years. Interestingly, these garden plants were originally cultivated from hybrids of wild gladioli native to South Africa.

Gladiolus oppositiflorus is an important species in the breeding history of a number of Gladiolus hybrids, and is also an attractive garden plant in its own right.

More info: Transkei Gladiolus

Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC)

MINING APPLICATION SMOTHERS SUSTAINABLE ECO-TOURISM INITIATIVES AND CONTRAVENES INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENTS

PRESS RELEASE FROM: SUSTAINING THE WILD COAST (SWC)
4 APRIL 2007

Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) calls upon the government of South Africa to reject out of hand the recent application for a licence to mine dune minerals along the Pondoland Wild Coast by Australian mining company Mineral Resources Commodities and its local associates, Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources and Xolco.

This call is made out of concern that the current process of decision making with respect to mining developments does not fall within the jurisdiction of normal environmental impact assessment procedure, does not allow for an independent process of review, potentially contravenes South Africa’s commitments under the Convention of Biological Diversity, and does not insist on a holistic cost benefit analysis of the merits or demerits of various development options for the region.

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