[DEBATE] : Latest on GaMawela community - land claim - Angloplats plans to flood land under claim
clsmith at global.co.za
Fri Apr 21 14:45:38 BST 2006
This is an update on the GaMawela land claim.
(For more information do a Google search on "gamawela".)
Angloplats is now planning a dam and wants to flood the land.
The Klein Dwars River which flows through the property is a tributary of the Steelpoort River, and about 20 kilometres from the de Hoop Dam on the Steelpoort River, which has been authorised by the Deputy President under ASGISA. The de Hoop Dam is intended to meet all requirements of mining and settlement in the area.
The de Hoop Dam has been under attack from environmental groups concerned about further take off from the Olifants River system, which will impact on the Kruger National Park and the Transfrontier Park region in Mocambique. (see Mail and Guardian recently, and Noseweek).
Angloplats is holding an Open Day on 4 May 2006 on the proposed dam. See details of consultants involved, below.
It is now clear that Angloplats has been opposing the claim as it wants exclusive rights to all water in the valley. This would effectively make the land worthless for agricultural activies, except for grazing.
The Regional Director, DWAF, been confirmed that no application has been received for the dam.
On the other hand a junior official in DWAF appears to have given in principle approval for the project before an application has been received from Angloplats for authorization to construct a dam, or for water rights.
Below, are some quotations which may be of interest.
"A dam of 13.5 million m3 is no small cheese - and I cannot understand that DWAF can have approved this - provisionally or otherwise. The first basic rule is that no development can take place on land which is under claim - And your claim has been granted - not just considered. My understanding is that the dam is planned for Richmond 370KT whist the land claim has been for the adjoining property, St George 2JT. However the construction of the dam will (it seems) flood all the lower lands of St George - the lands which the claimants would expect to make their livelihoods from. Is this correct? This would surely constitute unacceptable development and would in itself require very significant restitution? (A senior member of DWAF)
"One discovered that AngloPlatinum is planning new processing activities with a concentrator plant on the farm. In order to supply water for these activities, a new dam in the Klein Dwars River on the farm Richmond 370 KT is planned. BKS (PTY) LTD-Consultants appointed by Anglo Plants provided this office with Richmond Dam environmental screening report and yield analysis report. This office is currently in a process of finalising the licence application to store water on the dam. Our head office National Water Resource Planning (NWRP) have indicated that they do not have an objection regarding the issuing of a licence for water use out of the proposed dam. It is therefore not our recommendation that any land claimants be settled on the farm as the dam may well be approved for construction." (A junior official in DWAF, Nelspruit)
April 21, 2006
EcoRisk SA (Pty) Ltd
P O Box 628
FAX No.: 0866 266 228 (4 pages including this one)
ATTENTION: ALTA VAN DYK
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT: DAM ON RICHMOND 370KT
The above as well as the letter concerning the invitation to a Public Open Day on the 4th May 2006 regarding the above, has reference.
We act on behalf of the Gamawela Community who have claimed the farm St George 2JT which farm borders on Richmond 370 KT. The proposed dam will impact on St George in that it will flood some 80 hectares of the land.
As discussed this morning our clients were restored to the land subject to a business plan submitted to the Land Claims Court, which plan takes into account the mining interests of Anglo Platinum as the holder of the mining authorisation. The Land Claims Court granted the order on 4 June 2004 after a court process, which lasted from 2001 when the case was filed in the Land Claims Court. Anglo Platinum / Rustenburg Platinum was throughout represented by their attorneys of record, first Deneys Reitz Attorneys and later Van Dyk Attorneys from Ermelo. The business plan will be presented to the Land Claims Court in a formal hearing on 26 July 2006.
With regard to the invitation for the 4th May 2006 we put the following on record:
1. The invitation though dated the 3rd April 2006 only reached our offices today 19 April 2006.
2. The Public Open Day is scheduled for 4 May 2006, well short of the 21 days required for notification of the public participatory process for an Environmental Impact Assessment and affording us too little time in which to evaluate the BID Document.
3. Please note that our clients reserve their right to take any action they may deem necessary should they suffer any prejudice as a result of the late notification of the Public Open Day initiating the public participatory process of the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Ms. T Mankge of the Gamawela Community will be attending the Public Open Day on 4 May 2006 as an observer. Her attendance should not be interpreted as an admission that we concede the timeframes. Our clients will reserve their right in this regard.
Ms. Mankge's contact details are as follows:
Tel. No (011) 313 3323 (work)
Cell 082 941 7623
e-mail: tinym at dbsa.org.
Please contact Ms Mankge regards details for the meeting on 4 May 2006.
Further to our telephonic discussion earlier today, we propose that a focus meeting be held at our offices at the above address on 22 May 2006 at the above address at 10h00. We would appreciate it if at that meeting we could be given insight into the reports on the research undertaken by Anglo Platinum into alternatives to the proposed dam on Richmond in order to evaluate these. Kindly contact writer hereof to confirm the date and time for the focus group meeting.
With regards to the document headed "The Process to be Followed & Time Lines" we wish to draw your attention to a letter from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry dated 27 March 2006 attached to which letter is a letter from BKS Engineering. According to the said correspondence no application had been submitted and that an application is scheduled for submission by May 2006. We attach a copy of the correspondence for your information.
In view of the said correspondence kindly forward to writer hereof proof of submission of an application to the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry for a water storage permit as well as acknowledgement and acceptance of the application by the department as proof that the procedures as prescribed by the Water User Authorisation Process in terms of the National Water Act 1998 have been complied with.
For more information contact Durkje Gilfillan, Legal Resources Centre, durkje at lrc.org.za or Tiny Mankge, secretary of the land claim committee, tinym at dbsa.org
This message may contain confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secured or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this message, which arise as a result of e-mail transmission. The Gauteng Provincial Government does not take responsibility for Gauteng Provincial Government users' personal views. Gauteng Provincial Government services available online at: www.gautengonline.gov.za
More information about the Debate-list