Verkykerskop Local Area SDF

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Second Consultation Session with Interested and Affected Parties 23 March 2007

• • • • • • Welcoming and Attendance Local Area SDF Work Plan Background Legal Mandate Local Area SDF & Development Concept Interested and Affected Parties Inputs and Concerns

Local Area SDF Work Plan

Legal Mandate
• LMV was approved & appointed by Phumelela to compile a Local Area SDF • Local Area SDF preparation approved by Council in terms Section 120 of the Municipal Systems Act (32/2000) • First consultation with GOs and representatives of land owners and representatives of NGOs • Second consultation with Interested and Affected Parties

• Verkykerskop is a small services node to the surrounding agriculture community. • All of the involved land is privately owned • The study area for the MSDF is approximately a 1000 ha • Land is exclusively used for farming, although the agricultural potential of the larger portion is considered marginal • Current land uses include residential (60 families), guesthouses, commercial (general store & restaurants, Co-op), agricultural-related uses such as auction pens & VBV hall and institutional (SAPS) and post office

Development Concept
SDF Structure: Urban • Inner village / town square
– Commercial – apartments

• “Dorp” residential erven
– to cover economic spectrum – Subsistence / organic / gardens

• • • •

Country-inn and guesthouses Institutional Agricultural: VBV Sport, cultural tourism activities

Development Concept
SDF Structure: Rural • Equestrian ranch and working farm • Nature reserve including residential
– west: hunter’s lodge – east: game, birding and fly-fishing; health spa

• Agricultural
– Crop farming to continue on high potential agricultural land – Marginal and fallow fields to be rehabilitated

• Urban fringe concept • Note: Residential density to decrease from urban centre • Sport, cultural tourism activities

Development Concept

• • • •

To cover broad economic spectrum Various themes & Architectural style Housing options Variation of density and size

Development Concept
Environmental Framework • GIS overlays of environmentally sensitive areas • Cultural heritage resources to be protected and capitalised on, e.g. archaeological sites • Biodiversity
– Habitat protection and rehabilitation, e.g. wetlands, soil conservation and rehabilitation – Species conservation, e.g. cranes, bald ibis, sungazer lizards (“ouvolk”) – Reintroduction of rare endemic species, e.g. oribi’s

• Capitalisation on resources, e.g. stargazing • Development opportunity zones, e.g. no-go zones, limited opportunity zones, etc.

Development Concept
Services • Alternative renewable energy sources • Private provision of bulk services (utility company)
– – – – – Water (investigate geo-hydrological options) Central treatment of sewerage Grey water usage Solid waste removal Electricity (renewable, supplementary to ESKOM power) – Roads and streets

• Landing strip • Roads Project

Development Concept

• Agricultural guidelines in terms of National Legislation and local experience • Soil conservation and rehabilitation • High potential land to be utilised as working farm (subsistence farming) • Agricultural experimentation, intensification and diversity

Development Concept
Urban Design Principles • Strong urban design influence resulting in:
– – – – – – – Design places for people Enrich the existing Make connections Work with the landscape Mixed uses and forms Manage the investment Design for change

• Examples

Development Concept
Tourism • Unlocking the potential of the northern section of the Maloti Tourism Route (establishment of a node) • Capitalise on existing resources • Catalyst / Partnerships • Tourist destination halfway between Durban and Johannesburg – just off the N3

Development Concept
Tourism: Existing • Vistas of the eastern escarpment, e.g. three scenic passes, snow in winter • Birding destination (linked with Memel – RAMSAR site, a wetland of international importance) • Braamhoek hydro-electrical scheme • Witkoppen Nature Reserve • Altitude (2 000 m plus) • Sites of archaeological significance • Adventure sport, e.g. rock climbing • Hunting/ wing-shooting

Development Concept
Tourism: Existing • • • • • • Old Mill and general dealer Organised equestrian activities Autumn festival Agro-tourism Horse breeding, sports and auction Cultural tourism / exploitation of indigenous knowledge • Flyfishing • Offroading • Existing Guesthouses & Restaurant in (Verkykerskop)

Role Player Departments

Department of Agriculture
• Protect farmer’s interests • Determine potential of agricultural land and no-go agricultural land using soil samples in consultation with Dept. of Agriculture (local advisor) – indicate as layer on GIS • No smallholdings • Agricultural land inside SDF area not excluded as Agricultural Land in terms of 70/1970

Department of Tourism, Environmental and Economic Affairs
• Confirm importance of detailed EIA process and EMP • Departmental input in SDF process • Impact of the development on surrounding area, e.g. light pollution • Policing to ensure compliance with EMP (environmental control officer by Home Owners’ Association) • Statement: [Developers/ land owners confirm that environmental setting is important to them and that it will be protected as such]

Department of Tourism, Environmental and Economic Affairs
• • • • Concern regarding establishment of alien species Concern regarding offroading Availability of documentation Protection of existing resources (“environmental attractions”) • Concern regarding impact on surrounding area • DTEEA to identify certain key environmental roleplayers • Tourism inputs to be gathered from DC (refer to existing study)

Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport
• Timeframe for development to allow planning on the side of the Department (estimated 2 years) • Pedestrians (development on both sides of the road) • Increased traffic • Consultation with road project engineers (Rudnat) • Traffic calming/ slowing down measures to be discussed with department • Building lines and building restrictions (relaxation possible) • Parking

South African Police Service
• Upgrading of facilities in progress (36 staff) • Existing facilities may be upgraded in future • Residential component

Department of Local Government and Housing
(Spatial Planning Directorate)
• More detailed required by Dept. before SDF can be assessed/ is approved • SDF to address area of development/ development densities/ define terms, e.g. mixed land use/ detail regarding development zones • Availability of bulk services and max. development potential • “Alternative” service provision options • Fresh approach (continuous liaison with department) • Origin of existing land uses (refer to title deeds, permits, etc.) • Impact of development on existing settlement/ service node

Interested and Affected Parties (IAPs): Inputs and concerns
• • • • • • • • • • • Uncertainty; why Verkykerskop?; current status quo Concern regarding expectations? Registration of IAPs Extent/ scope of development Existing property of VBV is excluded Concern regarding the provision of water Protection of subsurface water Protection of existing water permits and rights Interest in development Idea is the development of luxury town Benefit for local community?

IAPs : Inputs and concerns
• Security concern and concern regarding impact on existing farming practices • Sewerage management? • Relation to macro strategy – SDFs (Memel, Harrismith, Vrede, Warden) • Necessity of development? • Development guidelines • FSPG and community requires more information • Verkykerskop is not a housing development to address housing shortages

IAPs : Inputs and concerns
• All further initiatives are put on hold until SDF has been approved • FSPG: There are 2 processes 1.) SDF 2.) Detailed applications • Define terms • Agendas and objectives • This meeting is now termed Verkykerskop Local Area SDF and not Verkykerskop Micro SDF (references amended) • VBV states that they are not in favour of any development already proposed • Select representatives • Prepare website downloads • Meetings to be held on days other than Mo. and Fri.

IAPs : Inputs and concerns
Discussion session with farm workers
• The aim of the session was explained, confirming that preparation of a SDF is not detail planning, but a pre– detailed planning process, merely to determine the development potential of the existing Verkykerskop village and immediately surrounding areas • The SDF study area, an approximate 800 ha area, were explained • The details of the SDF process and its representative structures was explained, confirming the status of the farm workers as stakeholders • Emphasis was, however, placed on the fact that the session was convened neither to discuss a housing scheme nor a project for the establishment of a future “location”.

I&APs : Inputs and concerns
Discussion session with farm workers
• It was clearly stated that all the involved properties of the study area, are privately owned and, • that the foreseen housing (if allowed) will be sold on the open market. • Existing residents will, however, be accommodate as far as possible • Exceedingly limited opportunists will be accommodated as future labour force for the envisaged developments, should it be considered. • Concerns were raised regarding where farm workers should settle. The local municipality's desire that the surrounding towns should be used for this purpose, was also conveyed.

I&APs : Inputs and concerns
Discussion session with farm workers
• There is thus no possibility of a so-called “off-farm” resettlement programme and it was not the aim of preparing a SDF for the study area. • The desires of the Local Municipality were also conveyed that, should any construction follow in future, local labour should be used • Additional employment opportunities will be created, although it will not be significant, especially should authorisation be granted for tourist-related high-cost residential settlement

I&APs : Inputs and concerns
Discussion session with farm workers
• A representative of the Ward Committee for Ward 5 also explained the process and the Municipal Council’s approach to the SDF • She confirmed that it is not an endeavour to provide a housing project and “give-away” (RDP) houses • Details of the session will be conveyed, by her, to the respective Ward Councilor, who will be approached to also attend future meetings

Way Forward
• Preparation of Draft Local Area SDF • Circulation of Draft Local Area SDF for comment • Second consultation with Interested and Affected Parties • Submission of Local Area SDF for approval by the Local Municipality • Submission to the Free State Provincial Government

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