Greyton Common: DEADP Minister agrees with residents concerns

22 February 2014

Evening over the Greyton Common (Photo: Bill Harding)

Evening over the Greyton Common and the Qobos River Bridge (Photo: Bill Harding)

During August 2013, residents of Greyton became aware of an arrangement, between the Theewaterskloof Municipality (TWKM) and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, whereby a substantial portion of the commonage along the Qobos River, was sold to provide land for a land claim.   As the land and the adjacent river and wetland environments are of considerable ecological importance due to their type and rarity, and in the absence of any apparent EIA process or public participation, concern was voiced via a letter to Minister Anton Bredell of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

The response by Minister Bredell’s department was both speedy and comprehensive and is published below.  Although some water has passed under the Qobos River Bridge since then, we still await information from TWKM as to what will happen next.  Rumours to the effect that the “land will be developed no matter who objects” don’t bode well for giving effect to the Constitutional protections afforded to South Africa’s natural capital, but we find comfort in the knowledge that DEADP and Nature Conservation are keeping an eye on proceedings.

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