Have your say on the future of the Wild Coast!

There has been heated debate about the future of the Wild Coast recently. The proposed mining of the Xolobeni area and now the extension of the N2, which will supposedly result in socio-economic development in the area but will also have long-lasting, detrimental effects on the environment. Here are various arguments and comments; from Sustaining the Wild Coast, the ‘Wildcoast’ website and a broader overview.

I write this now as the deadline to submit an appeal against the proposed highway is this Wednesday 19th May. All too often, we have good intentions and then time flies by and nothing is done. If you would like to voice an appeal, there is a petition. But I think an official appeal will be more effective and I have collected the necessary documents for download here. Please find an official appeal form (I have filled in the details that I will submit) and a generic appeal motivation outlining the reasons for my appeal. You can use these as your own and change where you feel necessary. All documents must then be faxed to Minister of Environmental Affairs (Fax: 012 320 7561) by Wednesday 19th May.

I don’t want to force anyone into anything but consideration of local communities’ opinions and the environment are something I feel strongly about. Here are some tools and information for us as citizens to participate in public deliberation. Hopefully it will be worthwhile to use them.

6 replies on “Have your say on the future of the Wild Coast!”

The filled in petition is empty…

I do have to say that the Wildcoast Website argument is pretty poor – it won’t just be a through road with no impact on the communities. Providing a transport corridor means that industry can pop up along the route because it is easier to ship products across the country. Also the fact it is a toll road will mean that the affect on the bypassed areas (e.g. Kokstad) won’t feel the pinch as much (think Kloof/Pinetown/New Germany after the PMB-Durban toll road was built).

I don’t think we should destroy endemisms (native), but we shouldn’t unecessarily deny rural areas the chance to develop.

the wild coast argument takes an environmental perspective on the development…

i do agree. i am not opposed to development in the area and i’m sure that is what a road would bring in one way or another..

but i imagine that some of this development would include tourism and that ploughing through a unique, natural resource to build a road defeats this purpose..

community-oriented development is important. local communities (which opens up another can of worms – is it just elders? who speaks for the people?) have expressed opposition to mining in the area and the government-proposed ‘pondoland park’. sure we need development but surely the people who are being helped should have a say in how their area is developed? maybe a toll road through 16% of sensitive ecosystem is something they would rather avoid?

Actually I don’t think we just speak for the environmental issues. The socio-cultural issues are almost more important. And that’s saying a lot.

The social displacement, and toll burdens will be huge. It’s not about local upliftment. It’s about trickle-down economic benefits from a macro scale *toll* road project. There is no gainsaying that.

(Remember the tale of Billy Goat Gruff?)

The environmental impact is offset against the projected 30 year *toll* income. And the local people will still not have local infrastructure; and will, in fact, be worse off than before: Displaced and deculturalized.

Read the god-damned EIA.

The fact that the proposed route is acknowledged to destroy (even with mitigation) a significant percentage of endemic red data species, and more environmental impacts over time; speaks volumes about the short term view and simplistic capitalization of routing *most* commercial traffic between EC & KZN through *what will have been one of the last* centers of endemism.

Don’t for a second try and fool us into believing that it’s for the local people’s benefit.

It’s a cash-cow for our “Ruling Party” to abuse and misuse – and finance their petty pecuniary perniciousness, or so-called social “vision.” If such it may be called.


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