Sand miners withdraw application

Men use picks to break rocks and get sand in a sand mine on the outskirts of Fond Parisien

Strandfontein residents are happy that a sand mining company has decided to withdraw its application to flatten the dunes.

The local ratepayers’ association is planning a victory meeting at Strandfontein community hall, in Cruiser Street, on Tuesday August 21, at 7.30pm.

“This is a victory for Strandfontein. Never have we won anything we fought for in this community,” said Gaironesa Diedericks, chairperson of the association.

“I am the happiest person that my voice has finally been heard,” she said.

“They must leave Strandfontein alone and never come back.”

Ms Diedericks said developers who were willing to ensure residents benefited from projects were welcome. “Otherwise they must leave our hills as it is. They should stay green and remain beautiful as God had intended it to be,” she said.

The withdrawal of the sand mining application comes a week after residents said: “No” at a public meeting at the community hall on July 10 (“Upset over sand mining plans”, Plainsman July 18).

The application related to sand mining on a portion of Erf 21168, a five-hectare area bordered by Baden Powell Drive, Spine Road and Camp Road in Strandfontein, which was submitted to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMF) in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

In a note sent to the Plainsman along with a notice stating that the public participation process had been stopped, Ms Daniels wrote: “Thank you for your contribution towards the public participation process and the overall basic assessment process for this proposed mining activity on Erf 21168, Mitchell’s Plain.”

Ward councillor Elton Jansen, who had also attended the meeting, said it was good that the applicant had acknowledged the community’s outrage and how they felt about sand mining in the area.

He, however, refuted that this was the only battle for service delivery the residents had won.

“The community fought to have ‘Broken Road’ (Fisherman’s Lane) repaired.

“They have been asking to have the area upgraded and this is being done,” he said.

Mr Jansen said three designs had been put to residents at a public meeting on Tuesday January 23 (“Team keeps eye on tidal plant”, Plainsman, January 31).

“The department is of the opinion that it should be upgraded and have committed to look for the money,” he said.

Mr Jansen said the repairs would be done in phases and that the community had put the spotlight on the popular fishing spot, along the False Bay Coast.

The City of Cape Town has spent R3.4 million to repair the parking area.

The City’s Recreation and Parks Department is also in the process of assessing neighbouring Strandfontein Pavilion for a possible upgrade (“It’s a long road for Fisherman’s Lane repairs”, Plainsman, July 18).