www.awesomesa.co.za South Africa is a country that has lived through one of the most frightening, riveting, and inspiring political revolutions in history. Real radical change faces each one of us every day. How do we deal with the mistrust that has crept in among our people from years of separation and confrontation? Richard Branson in his book – Screw Business As Usual – says: "We've a chance to take a shot at really working together to turn upside down the way we approach the challenges we are facing in the world and to look at them in a brand new, entrepreneurial way. Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where the boundaries between work and higher purpose are merging into one, where doing good really is good for business." Awesome SA supports an organisation called Sustaining the Wild Coast.
Click here to order! HELP PUT A PERMANENT STOP TO: Mining of the Wild Coast dunes The 'Greenfields' section of the N2 Toll road through Pondoland HOW? Funds raised by your purchase of this calendar go to support residents of Pondoland's Wild Coast, in their ongoing battle to protect and conserve their living landscapes and prevent the shredding of their social fabric by the two massive development schemes.
http://www.care2.com/causes/another-controversial-african-highway.html You’ve probably heard of the Tanzanian government‘s recent decision to cancel plans for the construction of a new highway that would have bisected the Serengeti National Park, threatening the integrity of the site of one of the world’s largest, most famous and most important annual wildlife migrations. That was great news. You’re less likely to have heard of another, perhaps less significant, but equally controversial plan to build a new highway on South Africa’s Wild Coast. The bad news: this one looks like it’s going ahead.
WRITTEN BY WESSA THURSDAY, 04 AUGUST 2011 11:42 On Monday 25 July, a year since appeals were first submitted, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, rejected all 49 appeals against the development of the N2 toll road and in so doing has given the go-ahead for the construction of this new section of the highway. For over a decade, WESSA has played an influential role in the N2 toll road Environmental Impact Assessment process. As an interested and affected party with a long history in conserving the Wild Coast, WESSA delineated a recommended alternative path that would have the least impact on this biologically diverse and sensitive area. This proved to play a significant role in the final alignment: 80% of the new road will fall on existing roads with only 20% being greenfield development.
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?
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."
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 with scant regard for communities and environment.
By: Christy van der Merwe 26th January 2011 JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A second task team would be established to hear oral presentations by parties affected by the proposed heavy minerals mine in Xolobeni, which is located on the South African Wild Coast. The hearings would be held at the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) Durban regional office from February 16 to February 18. The task team would then make recommendations to Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, on whether or not to uphold the granting of the licence to mine the Kwanyana block of mineral-rich sands near Xolobeni, or to rescind the licence – as per the appeal from certain community members. Australia-based Mineral Resource Commodities, through its South African subsidiary Transworld Energy & Minerals, was granted a licence to mine for titanium-bearing minerals on a portion of the dunes, in December 2008. The Kwanyana block contains some 139-million tons of heavy titanium-producing minerals, including ilmenite, zircon, leucoxene, and rutile. Of the four blocks making up the Xolobeni project area, the Kwanyana block had the largest measured resource.
TRANSPORT Minister S’bu Ndebele has declined to confirm or deny media reports that the government will scrap toll fees for the controversial N2 Wild Coast highway plan. This follows a recent report by Fin24 which suggests construction of a new highway would go ahead on the scenic Wild Coast – but no longer as a toll road. Fin24 said construction could begin later this year and Ndebele had indicated that funds could come from the National Treasury.But the office of Ndebele’s spokesman, Logan Maistry, has declined to comment on the report, noting the minister’s official position had been spelled out in an article in The Mercury last month. In that article, Ndebele confirmed that there had been “continuous engagement” between his ministry, the government road agency Sanral, the KZN provincial government and other stakeholders.
KZN Cabinet to fight N2 toll road plan Published in: Legalbrief Environmental Date: Tue 14 December 2010 Category: Litigation Issue No: 0193 The KZN Cabinet will go to court to block the N2 Wild Coast toll road because the plan is 'not in the interests of the people of KZN', notes a report in The Mercury. The Cabinet has vowed to 'vehemently' oppose the plan which has twice been approved by the Environmental Affairs Department amid strong protests. Groups have appealed against the environmental impact assessment (EIA) approval process over the past few months after the toll project was approved by the department for the second time earlier this year. The report quotes Premier Zweli Mkhize as saying: 'We are going to write to the Transport Minister to voice our strongest opposition. We are prepared to go to court on this one. We are in full support of the upgrading of the N2 going to the Eastern Cape. Our principle is simple: the toll should be for those receiving the service.
COMMUNITIES LODGE FINAL OBJECTION Source : Group writers SA Publication : Mercury Date : 10 November 2010 Author : Tony Carnie N2 toll 'an act of supreme folly' PLANS to build a toll road along the Wild Coast have been attacked as "an act of supreme folly" which would destroy one of the country's most valuable natural assets, mainly to enrich road construction companies and an Australian mining group. This is according to lawyers representing communities on the Wild Coast who have lodged final legal objections to prevent the N2 Wild Coast toll road from going ahead. The objection has been lodged by attorney Cormac Cullinan in response to previous submissions by the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral). The contentious toll proposal was approved by the national Environmental Affairs Department earlier this year, but several groups have appealed to the environmental |affairs minister to scrap the project.
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.
http://www.thestar.co.za/?fSectionId=492&fArticleId=vn20100602145659883C244643 ANC outrage at toll roads 2 June 2010 By Arthi Sanpath and Bheki Mbanjwa Opposition to toll roads in the Durban area is building to tsunami proportions as the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal urged motorists to avoid the new King Shaka International Airport toll. It also said it was flabbergasted at the tolling decisions, including the proposed booths on the N2 just south of Durban. In its most damning criticism yet of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), ANC provincial secretary, Sihle Zikalala, said people should use the alternative route (R102) to and from the airport. The party's provincial executive committee this week also said the idea of erecting a toll road near Amanzimtoti was ill-conceived, one that would impact negatively on commuters. It criticised Sanral for not consulting stakeholders such as the eThekwini Municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal government. "The ANC is flabbergasted by Sanral's approach of constructing tollgates without even consulting the people who are affected by such tollgates. The ANC in KZN will continue to engage the national Minister of Transport, S'bu Ndebele, with a view to stopping the construction of the proposed tollgate," Zikalala said.
"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.
CASABio (Collaborative Archive of South African Biodiversity) is an NGO dedicated to the conservation of the earth's species. Their bottom line is: get involved!!! It's one way you CAN help protect our natural heritage. CASABIO have submitted the following protest posters against the destruction of our Pondoland Center of Endemism: Sign the Petition at www.wildcoast.co.za/ict4d/petition before the close of business on Tuesday 18 May 2010!
Bishop Geoff Davies - 6 May 2010 http://safcei.blogspot.com/2010/05/wild-coast-mining-and-toll-road.html The Wild Coast continues to be under threat from both the application to undertake sand dune mining and the N2 toll highway. The record of decision (ROD) for the N2 toll road was released on 19 April. It is stated that objections need to be made before 19th May. We are asking for an extension to this deadline but we are also told that DEAT is requiring a notice of intention to appeal. We attach this notice. We write now to ask that if you are registered as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP) and wish to appeal, that you send in this form. Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) will shortly issue a brief outline regarding our concerns. We believe it best if comments come from a denomination or a congregation or a faith community, though an individual may also object. If you are not registered as an I&AP but wish to object, please do it through SAFCEI. We will include your appeal with ours.
Please sign the petition online here: www.wildcoast.co.za/ict4d/petition. Development, for the people of Pondoland, does not depend solely on the N2 toll road passing through the greenfields of this fragile biosphere. However the continued existence of the PCE does, without a doubt, depend on it not doing so. Please sign this petition and forward it to everyone you can. Read more here: www.wildcoast.co.za/tollroad Thank you.