Upset over sand mining plans

Proposed sand mining activity is to take place on Erf 21168, bordered by Baden Powell Drive, Spine Road and Camp Road in Strandfontein.

Strandfontein residents are adamant that sand mining will not happen on their doorstep.

These were the sentiments expressed at a heated public meeting at Strandfontein community hall on Wednesday July 11.

Environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) Rughshana Daniels who called the meeting, was joined by Gregory Davids, a social facilitation consultant and Elton Jansen, councillor for Ward 43, which includes Strandfontein, Bayview, San Remo, On the Bay and Philippi Horticultural Area.

A mining permit application and environmental authorisation to mine sand on a portion of Erf 21168, a five-hectare area bordered by Baden Powell Drive, Spine Road and Camp Road in Strandfontein, has been submitted to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMF) in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA).

The erf is next to Strandfontein sports grounds and in front of the Sewende Laan informal settlement.

Strandfontein resident Gaironesa Diedericks, said: “I don’t want another meeting with you people It is no, no, no. We don’t want mining here,” she said.

“Now you people want to come in and steal our sand; and make money.

“Why don’t you people go to Melkbosstrand. There is enough beach sand there. Leave us alone.”

Ephraim Stanfield, secretary of Strandfontein Ratepayers’ Association, questioned the economic viability for the community and how the land had been identified for sand mining.

Sewende Laan resident Kaylee Steyn said she was concerned about the children, her parents and how taking the sand away would affect their lives.

The settlement has been there for close to 30 years..

“Daai heuwels en daai goedere wat julle wil af vat daar, beskerm vir ons. Daai is ons se mure. Dit beskerm ons teen die storms en winderigheid.

“Ons verdrink al klaar in die water as die storms kom, as die winde kom waai ons dakke af,” she said.

Ms Steyn said she collected wood from the bush to make fires to cook and warm water.

“Ons gaan haal hout uit die bos uit sodat ons kan eet en was sodat ons kinders waarme beddens kan kry,” she said.

She said if the dunes were disturbed, it was likely the sand would overwhelm their homes.

“Ons gaan nie toelaat dat julle net maak en doen soos julle wil nie, want ons hele Sewende Laan mense is teen die dinge,” she said.

Nigel Titus, from the City of Cape Town’s spatial planning department, said there were eight districts in the metropole, which were covered by the Cape Flats District Plan, which set out a vision for each area. In 2012 the plan was approved by then ward councillor, Irma Jackson.

Mr Titus said the idea was to encourage urban development, a green corridor, and nodal, commercial and residential development, following the proposed mining – but nothing had yet been confirmed.

The initial part of the application, he said, included a basic assessment process, which included determining the policy and legislative context within which the proposed activity was located and how the activity complied with and responds to the police and legislative context.

It also aimed to identify the alternatives considered; describe the need and desirability of the proposed alternatives; undertake an impact and risk assessment which focused on determining the geographical, physical, biological, social, economic, heritage, and cultural sensitivity of the sites.

Ms Daniels said they would return with answers to residents’ questions and that comments and concerns could be directed to her via email rughshanadaniels@gmail.com or send a SMS to 074 380 7764.