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.
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.
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.
Inyoni (AKA Slipway)A crowd of bemused holiday makers gathered on the beach at Hole in the Wall yesterday where a small penguin had set ashore nursing an injured leg. As it is tagged (S29329), it definitely has had human contact before and seems to have landed at the busiest beach in the area specifically looking for help from humans. Especially as it is over 1000km away from its usual habitat.
The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus, Xhosa name: Nombombiya, and also known as the Black-footed Penguin) is an endangered species and there are fewer than 100,000 left in the world.
A hiker from nearby Coffee Bay turned out to be a marine biologist from Hawaii, and advised Charlene from Hole in the Wall Hotel on the correct care for the docile, cute little fuzzy, who whacked down 4 sards for dinner, and another 3 for breakfast this morning.
It is well known by now that the minister of minerals & energy revoked the mining license, granted to MRC and their local subsidiary Xolco in 2008, at the beginning of the month.
However the door is still ajar and we await the outcome in 3 months time.
The applicants have until then to resubmit properly completed environmental impact assessments, a full environmental management plan, and to comply fully with the various requirements of affected government departments.
Wow, the marriage of Prince William and Lady Catherine solicited a great deal of interest on the site yesterday. The visitor count hit a new all time record, and I thought the site had been compromised until I figured out that over half of the hits were on the blog post from 2008 about the Royal brothers riding the Wild Coast. (http://www.wildcoast.co.za/node/514)
I thought that (what little I saw of it) the pomp and pageantry of the wedding of the century was quite magical. The stuff of fantasy; and we need that in this world.
Well known Kwazulu-Natal midlands water-colour artist, Joan Bastard, has kindly put together a calendar of paintings for SWC, depicting scenes of Transkei and Pondoland.
These calendars are selling for R150 each, of which R30/ calendar is donated to SWC. The remainder goes towards printing costs and artist commission. The calendars are printed on high quality paper and make wonderful mementos and gifts.
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.
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.
PRESS RELEASE 12 -04 -2010N2 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 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).
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:</i>
Not to over-stress the absurdity in the first place, of bureaucratizing access to their coastal resources for the uneducated, impoverished, and already marginalized inhabitants of the Wild Coast; but there has been a recurring theme of blatant government incompetence played out over the past few years at Hole in the Wall.