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DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL & CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT

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					         DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM


                            APPEAL QUESTIONNAIRE


[An electronic copy of this questionnaire may be obtained from Ms C van Eeden
at telephone: (012) 310 3590 or e-mail: cveeden@ozone.pwv.gov.za or from the
                   department‟s web site: www.deat.gov.za ]

             Once completed, this document must be forwarded to:

                 Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

                               Private Bag X447

                                    PRETORIA

                                      0001

                              Fax: (012) 322 0082




Appellant’s contact information:



Name:          Dr. Molefe Tsele

Address:       Khotso House

               62 Marshall Street

               JOHANNESBURG



Phone:         011-241 7818

Cell:          082 458 2037

Fax:           011-838 4818
                                              2



Project information:

Project name: N2 Wild Coast Toll Road between the Gonubie Interchange near
East London (Eastern cape) and the isipingo Interchange south of Durban
(KwaZulu-Natal)

Authorisation reference number as on letter of authorisation and record of
decision:      A24/16/3/246

Authorisation date as on letter of authorisation and record of decision:

Manual inscription of 3/12/2003?



Please note:

        The decision of the department is reflected in the letter of authorisation or
         rejection. The conditions of approval are contained in the record of
         decision (ROD) document, attached to the authorisation letter.

        The appeal must be accompanied by all relevant documents or copies of
         these that are certified as true by a commissioner of oaths.

        The appeal must set out all the facts and the grounds of appeal.

        To assist in this regard, the following questions are listed as a guideline
         only – more space may be used if necessary:

                             -----------------------------------------

1.       Are you lodging this appeal as an individual or on behalf of a
         community/organisation?



          Individual    Community/
                        organisation
                        X

         If on behalf of a community or organisation, please provide proof of
         mandate to do so.

         The South African Council of Churches
                                      3

2.   Is your appeal based on factors associated with the process that was
     followed by the applicant in obtaining authorisation?



      Yes    No
      X

     Please provide reasons:

     Public participatory processes are intended to be lengthy for good reason
     and in principle needs to be conducted between the relevant government
     institution and civil society. The SA Council of Churches cannot, therefore,
     in fairness accept the record of decision, S8.7, which states that “the
     (preliminary design stage of) the project is the basis for discussion and
     refinement with affected communities … and ... that public consultation to
     refine the preliminary design, and to finalise it, is a function that the
     applicant must undertake.” Since the proposed environmental and
     “developmental” consequences of this project are enormous, one would
     expect a broader and deeper human and social process of consultation to
     have taken place before arriving at a record of decision. Instead, the
     process appears to have been both precipitated and protracted. In terms
     of the significance of the Christian community as a stakeholder in this
     decision, an extrapolation of the figures from Statistics SA 2002 shows
     that The South African Council of Churches represents some 15-18 million
     Christian members and adherents in South Africa. A significant proportion
     of these members is represented in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal
     provinces. Neither the Eastern Cape nor the KwaZulu Natal Provincial
     Councils of Churches believe, however, that they have been adequately
     consulted on these developments. We therefore concur and object to the
     manner in which the authorisation process was conducted.



3.   Is your appeal based on factors associated with environmental
     impacts not taken into account by the department in refusing or
     authorising the application?



      Yes    No

      X

     Please provide reasons:

     The Central Committee of the SA Council of Churches, having met in
     August 2003, approved a clear resolution calling on government “ … to
     upgrade the existing routes … rather than allowing the Wild Coast
                                           4

     Consortium‟s proposed route through the „greenfield section‟ of
     Pondoland.“ (A copy of the resolution is attached.) Further, our
     correspondence is informed by the work and research of Bishop Geoff
     Davies of the Diocese of Umzimvubu, amongst others. The record of
     decision to proceed with the construction of a Toll Road appears to negate
     all environmental and community proposals for alternatives. The dominant
     assumption appears to be that development of a capital intensive nature is
     the only alternative to sustainable human, social and ecological progress.
     If this is the basis of the proposal, then more time is required to test, with
     due transparency, a broader segment of community opinion that may be
     contrary to the predominant view.



4.   Would you agree to the activity proceeding if your concerns can be
     addressed by rectifying the process or mitigating or eliminating the
     impacts of the activity?



      Yes    No

             X

     Please provide reasons:

     The South African Council of Churches remains opposed to the
     construction of a Toll Road on the pristine Wild Coast. The Council also
     fails to understand how such a project may be able to rectify or eliminate a
     negative impact on the related environment. As mentioned above, the
     primary outcome of such a project, being capital intensive, is the profit
     motive for a few, leaving human and social development of affected
     communities a distant secondary outcome.



5.   Are you fundamentally opposed to any development activity on the
     site?



      Yes    No

             X

     Please provide reasons:

     We state again that the SA Council of Churches is NOT opposed to
     development activity on the N2 Wild Coast, in fact we welcome
     discussions on the issue of poverty alleviation and development in this
                                           5

     area. For this to bear fruit, though, an extension of time to discuss this
     matter on a broader scale is required. We remain unconvinced, however,
     that the proposed construction of a Toll Road on this stretch of road is the
     answer to poverty alleviation, human and social development.



6.   Do you have an objection in principle against the development?



      Yes    No

      X

     Please provide reasons:

     Our understanding of activity that benefits human and social development
     is that there needs to be a significant body of opinion from civil society, not
     just from a limited sector, that affirms, enhances and adds value to the
     proposed project. Since the proposed project elicits divided opinion on the
     developmental as well as ecological sectors, the SACC as a
     representative of the faith community is hard pressed and unable to give
     principled support to such a proposal.



7.   Does your appeal contain any new information that was not
     submitted to the environmental consultant or department prior to the
     department’s consideration of the application?



      Yes    No

      X

     If the answer above is yes, please explain why it should be
     considered by the Minister and why it was not made available to the
     environmental consultant or department during the application
     process.

     S 8.8 of the Record of Decision states that the purpose of the project is “
     … to provide a better, safer, and shorter route between Durban and East
     London, and a national road that serves the interests of business,
     development and society between the centres.” It goes on to declare that
     “the construction of the road is also an integral part of the social and
     economic upliftment of the community in this part of the Eastern Cape.
     The benefits of the road includes (sic) amongst others, improved road
                                          6

      access, better access to markets, education, social and health services,
      nature reserves and tourist destinations, the development of SMMEs,
      training and employment opportunities, accessibility for development of
      agro-forestry, impetus for the Wild Coast SDI, improvement of road travel
      and safety and through the development of ecotourism, contribute to
      general tourism revenue accruing to the province and South Africa in
      general.”

      Such purpose appears to be the hindsight of the record of decision and,
      more seriously, indicates an abrogation of the South Africa‟s social and
      economic rights accorded by the Constitution into the hands of privatised
      developers and construction engineers. In this context it may appear that
      our objections to the contrary are “new” but the SACC nonetheless
      requess the Minister to continue with a broader and transparent process of
      dialogue rather than placing the dialogue between the communities and
      the proposed developer as a fait accompli. Since the outcomes of our
      stance and that of the ROD differ radically, we would also hesitate to
      recognise the proposed project as a de facto exercise in human and social
      development. To this end we further submit articles that appear recently in
      the press and which call for serious rethinking on the ROD.



8.    I have no objection to this appeal being made available to any
      interested and affected third party and/or member of the public, since
      I understand that the EIA process is transparent.



       Yes    No

       X

      If answer above is no, please provide reasons:

Not Applicable.
                                            7

DECLARATION:

I declare that the contents of this submission are to the best of my knowledge the
truth and I regard this declaration as binding on my conscience.


Dr. Molefe Tsele, General Secretary, SA Council of Churches
APPELLANT


DATE: 17th December 2003

				
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