Gauteng and NW Province

Outrage about Flora Park substation

The Hartbeespoort Environment Heritage Association (HEHA) and a large number of residents have strongly objected to the proposed 400kV Eskom substation to be constructed in Flora Park and a public participation meeting last week was halted by an almost unanimous vote by concerned residents.
The meeting with representatives of ESKOM, interested and affected parties and NEMAI consulting was convened to present the results of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study on the proposed development of a substation and associated infrastructure .
The proposed site for the substation would cover 25 ha near Flora Park/Elandsfontein and the powerline will be approximately 40km in length and will run between the proposed new Anderson substation in Flora Park to the existing Dinaledi substation North East of Brits.
Eskom is proposing the substation as part of its Tshwane strengthening scheme project.
The meeting held at Motozi Lodge on 14 November was attended by concerned landowners and representatives of the tourism Industry and residents from Flora Park, Schurweberg, Saartjiesnek, Rietfontein, Silkaatsnek ,Hartbeespoort and Broederstroom.
“Before the meeting there was already substantial discontent with NEMAI Consultants’ handling of this matter,” said HEHA chairman Arnaud Malan.
“HEHA and other engaged individuals have been tracking the process of public consultation for the proposed development since 2010, and have found NEMAI Consultants not adhering to all procedures as prescribed by law. For instance the advertising of public meetings was insufficient and numerous property owners had not been notified of the proposed developments on their land,” he said.
Arnaud said the attendees were outraged, as it became clear during the meeting that NEMAI intended carrying on with an already flawed (therefore illegal) public participation process, and had not seriously considered the environmental concerns and alternatives suggested by residents and experts in the area in their contributions and previous submissions.
“The residents will not be steamrollered into acceptance and brought a motion to have the meeting adjourned until all landowners have been formally notified of the proposed developments. This motion was passed almost unanimously because the flaws in the procedures were glaringly obvious.”
A new public participation meeting will now have to be held. “HEHA is willing to offer its co-operation , and know-how of the local environment in exploring alternatives to the present site,” Arnaud said.
“NEMAI Consultants will now have to work over new information , reconvene a meeting with all old and new registered interested and affected parties, publicise this meeting in the local media and make all relevant documentation (substation, transmission line etc.) available at a venue that is readily accessible to the public.”

23 November 2012

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