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
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:
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
Taralyn Bro The Weekend Post
THE N2 Wild Coast Toll Road has moved one step closer to becoming a reality after the government this week gave its construction a tentative thumbs-up.
The issuing on Monday of a record of decision by the Department of Environmental Affairs authorising construction of the road is the latest in a long line of action – or inaction – around the mega-billion-rand project. Objectors now have less than a month to say why they believe construction should not go ahead. The authorisation has been granted as long as environmental concerns raised in the final environmental impact assessment report – released in December – are heeded.
More than 7800 submissions from the public were included in the report, which was started afresh in 2007 by CCA Environmental (Pty) Ltd after the original EIA was shelved in 2004.
If approved, the project will extend over roughly 560km between the N2 Gonubie interchange and the N2 Isipingo interchange (south of Durban).
Twenty-five new tolls will be built, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal.
The new route will be about 75km shorter than the existing N2 via Kokstad. Building cost was estimated at R6.4-billion in 2007.
PRESS RELEASE 12 -04 -2010
N2 TOLL ROAD - GOVERNMENT APPEARS OBLIVIOUS TO THE COMPLEXITY OF REAL ISSUES AT STAKE
A recent parliamentary response to questions about the N2 Toll Road, posed to the Minister of Transport, shows the government has a deeply flawed understanding of the broader issues surrounding the N2 Toll road debacle. The Minister’s response suggests a government that is stuck in an inflexible time warp, basing its decisions on outdated, vastly flawed and unsustainable development projects that were conceived of in the early 90's, under scenarios vastly different from the situation that prevails today.
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO 743
DATE REPLY SUBMITTED: 30 MARCH 2010
DATE OF PUBLICATION IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: MONDAY, 15 MARCH 2010 (INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: NO 7 – 2010)
Mr G R Morgan (DA) asked the Minister of Transport:
(1) Whether the proposed development of the N2 Wild Coast Toll highway is being done in conjunction with a broader spatial planning process for the areas that will be impacted by the road; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) (a) how will the proposal for the new road benefit the broader development objectives of the area and (b) what are the negative effects of the proposed road in respect of the broader development objectives of the area?
THE decade-long N2 Wild Coast Tollroad debate was re-ignited this week with the release of a new – and final – environmental impact assessment.
Over 7800 submissions from the public were included in the report, which started afresh in 2007 by CCA Environmental (Pty) Ltd after an original EIA was shelved in 2004 when it was found that the “independent” environmental consultants had financial links with companies that hoped to build the road.
By John GI Clark
Stephan Hofstatter’s report on the shenanigans surrounding the Wild Coast mining saga refers (Transkei dead’s nod to dune deal, March 5). So it is at the discretion of the minister whether or not to revoke a mining right, even when there is clear evidence of a fraud having been perpetrated to secure a mining right by the holders thereof.
The latest evidence of fraudulently obtained lists of people, many of whom are long deceased, on “certificates” stating their free and informed consent for the Xolobeni Mining venture on the Wild Coast, provides Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu with a more than adequate basis to revoke the mining right immediately.
By Stephan Hofstatter
Johannesburg — EVIDENCE of misrepresentation has emerged in papers submitted in an application that led to a decision by the Department of Mineral Resources to allow titanium mining on the environmentally sensitive Wild Coast.
If proved, the disclosures could jeopardise plans by Australian company Mineral Commodities (MRC) and its empowerment partner, Xolco, to extract heavy metals worth an estimated R11bn from the coastal dunes of the Transkei.
By Tony Carnie
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize has re-iterated his opposition to the proposed N2 Wild Coast toll road, saying more tollgates in the Durban area will cause further financial hardship for commuters and slow down economic growth.
Reacting to the news that the proposed N2 toll had been given another green light after an environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, Mkhize said the KZN Provincial government had always been opposed to the proposed Wild Coast toll road, especially the proposed toll gate at Isipingo.
The Premier noted that there was general agreement in the legislature that all political parties should speak with one voice in opposing this tollgate and he promised to make an official announcement later this week on how the legislature would respond to the latest EIA recommendation.
By: Christy van der Merwe
10th February 2010
The hearings involving interested parties appealing a decision to grant Transworld Energy Minerals (TEM) a licence to mine heavy minerals from the dunes near Xolobeni on the Wild Coast, scheduled to take place this week, were cancelled.
The committee of four people, which was appointed by the Mining and Minerals Board to oversee the presentations from all parties involved, could not proceed because it had not received the necessary documentation from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).
Committee chairperson Pathekile Holomisa told Mining Weekly Online that it had now received the documentation, which it would go through, and would decide in March whether or not hearings into the matter in fact needed to take place.
"Ultimately, our piece would be to advise the Minister, either to proceed with granting the license, or cancel or withdraw it, but that depends on our understanding of the issue. And we shall also decide whether there is a need to invite more oral presentations or not," he explained.
Grahamstown-based Legal Resources Centre (LRC) representative Sarah Sephton said that the cancellation of the hearings was "completely unsatisfactory', as the LRC had made the effort to submit its volumes of documentation on time to the DMR.
She added that the LRC, as well as representatives from the mining company TEM, and the company's black economic-empowerment partner, Xolco, travelled to the KwaZulu-Natal DMR offices for the scheduled hearings "at great cost", only to be told that hearings were not going to take place.
The LRC represented the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), which was appealing the mining right, which the former Minerals and Energy Minister, Buyelwa Sonjica, granted in August 2008.
The LRC stated that one of the grounds for the appeal was that the mining right was granted to the Australia-based mining junior without sufficient and reasonable consultation with the Xolobeni community as an interested and affected party.
On September 28, 2009, the LRC submitted two expert reports to the Minister in support of the appeal to set aside the mining right. One of the reports provided that the heavy minerals mining operations planned by TEM had been discontinued in other jurisdictions, such as Australia and New Zealand.
Resolution on whether or not the licence to mine for titanium-bearing minerals would, in fact, be granted was expected by June 2009, however, little clarity on the matter had emerged.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb
The Legal Resources Centre's submission to DME on behalf of the ACC and Xolobeni community is rather long-winded and dry; but also interesting, and thoroughly convincing:
THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY
INTERNAL APPEAL/REVIEW OF THE AWARD OF A MINING RIGHT TO TRANSWORLD
ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES (SA) (PTY) LTD
Appeal/review instituted by:
THE AMADIBA CRISIS COMMITTEE
MINISTER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY
APPLICANT'S FURTHER GROUNDS OF REVIEW AND REPLY TO SUBMISSIONS FROM TEM AND XOLCO
2 Recent print articles, which only appeared in the Daily Dispatch Online today, have already been published in the Weekend Post and on other environmental sites; proving conclusively that public perception is strongly against the mining:
The stories have been published at
and are also reproduced in full below:
THE granting of a mining licence to Australian mining group Transworld Energy Minerals (TEM) to mine heavy minerals on the pristine dunes at Xolobeni on the Wild Coast was “clearly improper and ought to be withdrawn”.
LRC to make oral submissions on behalf of the Amadiba Crisis Committee at Xolobeni.
On 8, 9 and 10 February 2010, the Minerals and Mining Development Board will receive oral submissions on behalf of interested parties involved in the appeal against the Minister’s decision to grant a mining right to Transworld Energy Minerals (TEM) at Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape. The Board will then make recommendations to the Minister of Minerals and Energy.
The LRC will be representing the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) who are appealing the granting of the mining right. One of the grounds for the appeal is that the mining right was granted to TEM without sufficient and reasonable consultation with the Xolobeni community as an interested and affected party. Counsel for the ACC Advocates Gilbert Marcus (SC) and Isabel Goodman will be submitting written heads of argument that will be made available to interested parties.
Recently, on 28 September 2009, the LRC submitted two expert reports to the Minister on behalf of the ACC. The reports were in support of the ACC’s appeal to the Minister to set aside the mining right. One of the reports provided that the heavy mineral mining operations planned by TEM have been discontinued in other jurisdictions such as Australia and New Zealand. TEM is a subsidiary of the Australian group Mineral
Resources Commodities (MRC).
The details of the hearing are as follows:
Date: 8, 9 and 10 February 2010
Time: 8 February (12h00 to 16h00), 9 and 10 February (9h30 to 15h00)
Venue: Department of Mineral Resources KZN Regional Office
333 Durban Bay House
For further information contact:
Legal Resources Centre
Check out these film clips that have been made about the amaPondo people’s battle against the mining proposal:
THE Eastern Cape’s highly specialised environmental unit, known as the “Green Scorpions”, has cracked down on people and hotels along the Wild Coast for flouting environmental laws and has issued fines totalling more than R30 000.
The Green Scorpions, or the Environmental Management Inspectorate, is a network of environmental enforcement officials from different government departments.
The joint operation involved the provincial Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs (Dedea), Kei Mouth police, East London Dog Unit, police airwing and Marine and Coastal Management.
They embarked on a crackdown at the weekend to enforce the law and to warn people to abide by the country’s environmental laws.
The operation kicked off at around 5am in Kei Mouth on Saturday. From there members of the team crossed the Kei River to inspect the coast.
The team was joined by a police helicopter from Bhisho, which swooped on a number people driving off-road vehicles or riding quad bikes illegally along the beach. The transgressors were issued spot fines .
Dedea senior manager for environmental compliance and enforcement Div de Villiers , who heads the Green Scorpions in the province, said they fined 12 people for driving along the beach illegally. All were issued with fines of R2500 each and ordered off the beach.
The team also visited hotels in the area. “Basically we did hotel checks and found one with excess alikreukel (a type of shell fish),” said De Villiers. “The reason for taking action is the amount of damage caused ... trucks ... ride over birds’ eggs and nests and vegetation. They churn up the mountainside, which leads to erosion.”
From the chopper, the Green Scorpions also spotted people mining sand illegally. The damage, seen from the air, “was unbelievable”, said an inspector. “We impounded the truck and issued a R5000 fine for his mining and driving along the coast. But he paid the fine and the truck was released,” said De Villiers.
“No vehicles were confiscated and not all of them paid their fines. It (operation) definitely yielded positive results. It’s also proactive and warns people to stick to legislation.
“The word is out; there will be zero tolerance over the forthcoming festive holiday season.”
Dedea acting head of department Sybert Liebenberg, who took part in the crackdown, said environmental crimes were also economic crimes.
“They erode our tourism. Twenty years from now there will be nothing left in the Transkei for our children. ” — By BABALO NDENZE, firstname.lastname@example.org
LRC submits expert evidence against mining in Xolobeni
On 28 September 2009 the Grahamstown office of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) submitted two expert reports to the Minister of Minerals and Energy on behalf of the AmaDiba Crisis Committee (ACC). The reports were in support of the ACC’s appeal to the Minister to set aside the mining right granted to Transworld Energy Minerals(TEM) at Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape.
One of the reports compiled by Jan Meyer, a soil fertility expert, provides that the heavy mineral mining operations planned by TEM have been discontinued in other jurisdictions such as Australia and New Zealand. TEM is a subsidiary of the Australian group Mineral Resources Commodities (MRC).
The report states that ‘a significant amount of heavy mineral mining previously took place along the East Coast of Australia, New South Wales. However many of the mining operations in New South Wales have been asked to desist.’
The report also lists 10 reasons why the mining operations in New South Wales have been discontinued and describes several of them as relevant to the proposed mining at Xolobeni.
This means that TEM seeks to legitimise operations in South Africa regardless of their negative impact. The intended mining will adversely affect the traditional way of life of the Xolobeni community, some of whom have occupied the land for centuries, and will irreparably damage the coastline.
This matter began on 2 September 2008, when the ACC made an application to appeal/review the decision in terms of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002. The basis for the appeal/review is that the mining right was granted to TEM without sufficient and reasonable consultation with the Xolobeni community as an interested and affected party.
It is not known when the Minister will reconsider the decision to grant the licence but the Department has announced that the appeal/review will take place.
For further information contact the Legal Resources Centre:
For some background on the status of the appeal, please see this Mining Weekly article from March this year. It's great to see Creamer Media batting for our team.
The Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism have issued an Environmental Authorisation (EA) for the establishment of a 132kV substation at Zwelethu (near Bizana) and 2 x 132kV lines to feed the South Coast, Bizana & Xolobeni region.
A copy of the EA can be downloaded here: Eros_Port_Edward-Environmental_Authorisation_13Aug09.pdf
Anyone wishing to appeal any aspect of this decision must lodge a notice of intention to appeal with the Minister of DEAT by the 28th August 2009. Further details are contained in the EA.
It's futile and counter-productive to protest progress and future energy requirements, obviously; but as can be seen from the attached diagrams the approved power line on the Eastern Cape side comes directly to the north perimeter of the proposed Xolobeni mining tenement, and from there runs adjacent to the proposed N2. That's called central planning 1-2-3.
But to put this in perspective one has to realize that the entire South Coast runs on 2 x 88kV power lines, and this huge upgrade of the total current capacity is aimed at urbanizing and industrializing the Pondoland Center of Endemism along the path of the N2 toll road; which after all is the planned macro-economic future for the area. Objections, eco-tourism and the environment be damned.