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Proposed Agricultural Expansion on Leipzig Rabiesberg Farm, near Worcester

PROPOSED AGRICULTURAL EXPANSION ON LEIPZIG RABIESBERG FARM (FARM 48/338 KLOPPERSBOSCH), NEAR WORCESTER, WESTERN CAPE: AVAILABILITY OF DRAFT BASIC ASSESSMENT REPORT

BASIC ASSESSMENT PROCESS: DEA&DP Ref No.: 16/3/3/6/7/1/B2/32/1079/19

Heritage Western Cape Ref No.: 19012802SB0205E

The Applicant (Rabiesberg (Pty) Ltd) proposes to expand the existing cultivated areas on the Farm 48/338 Kloppersbosch, for the purpose of commercial production of irrigated perennial crops, e.g. citrus and stone fruit. The site is located on the Nuy Valley Road (off the R60), approximately 17 km east of Worcester in the Western Cape Province.  The applicant initially identified an area of 17.5 ha of virgin land for agricultural expansion (split over two areas known as Agricultural Expansion Area 1 (east) and Agricultural Expansion Area 2 (west) respectively), however this has been reduced to 6.67 ha following the outcome of a specialist environmental opportunities and constrains analysis (described in Section G of the Basic Assessment Report). The proposed project would involve the clearance of indigenous vegetation, in areas mapped as containing mapped as Breede Alluvium Renosterveld. The Nuy River runs along the southern boundary of the farm.  The proposed new agricultural areas would be accessed via existing farm access roads, therefore no new access roads are required.

The preferred alternative consists of a 6.67 ha area for cultivation on Agricultural Expansion Area 2 (west). This reduced area has taken the high sensitivity of the intact areas of Endangered Breede Alluvium Renosterveld vegetation into account (via the avoidance of such areas in the preferred layout) as well as the overall ecological functioning of the site. Buffer areas required for the eastern tributary and the dam have also been incorporated into the preferred alternative. The preferred alternative would have a potential freshwater impact of low negative significance (with mitigation) and a potential botanical impact of low negative (with mitigation).

Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants has been appointed by Rabiesberg (Pty) Ltd to undertake the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment process for the proposed project (in this case a Basic Assessment Reporting (BAR) process) in accordance with the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (No. 107 of 1998), as amended, EIA Regulations (2014).

A Pre-application Basic Assessment Report was made available for public comment from 4 March to 4 April 2019 and all comments received have been incorporated into a Comments & Responses Report (Crr1) and are included in the Draft Basic Assessment Report.

The Draft Basic Assessment Report has been made available to the public for review for a 30 day comment period, and is downloadable via the link below. Interested & Affected Parties (I&APs) have 30 days, i.e. until 1 July 2019, to raise any issues or concerns related to the proposed project and the findings of the Draft Basic Assessment Report. Any comments received from I&APs will be incorporated into a Comments and Response Report CRR(2) and included in the Final Basic Assessment Report that will be submitted to the Competent Authority for decision-making.

Should you have any comments, issues or concerns regarding the proposed project or the findings of the Draft Basic Assessment Report, please provide your comments in writing to Anja Albertyn of Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants, by email, fax or post (Fax: 086 653 1765, email: anja@hollandandassociates.net or post: PO Box 31108, Tokai, 7966), on or before 1 July 2019.