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Proposed Rectification of Unlawful Activities on Oude Schuur Farm, near Worcester

PROPOSED RECTIFICATION OF THE UNLAWFUL CLEARANCE OF 1.5HA OF INDIGENOUS VEGETATION; THE LINING AND ENLARGEMENT OF A DAM; AND UPGRADING OF A PUMPSTATION, NEAR WORCESTER, WESTERN CAPE: NOTIFICATION OF INTENTION TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FORM IN TERMS OF SECTION 24G OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT (NEMA) (107 OF 1998) AND NOTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF THE PRE-APPLICATION SECTION S24G DOCUMENTATION FOR REVEW AND COMMENT AND INTEGRATED WATER USE LICENSE APPLICATION 

S24G ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCESS: DEA&DP Ref No.: To be Confirmed

Heritage Western Cape Ref No.: 18111901AS1126E

The Applicant (AS Viljoen Jnr Trust) purchased the farm portions that are collectively known as the “Oude Schuur” farming unit with the intention of redeveloping and expanding the existing agricultural activities.  In order to irrigate the re-developed as well as the proposed new agricultural areas, it will be necessary to upgrade and modernize the water storage and pipeline infrastructure that exists on the site.  The applicant was aware that portions of his development and expansion plans would require environmental authorization, however he was of the opinion that the commenced activities, could be undertaken as part of “phase 1” of the development as he viewed these as being relatively modest in scale, and therefore proceeded in the misplaced belief that they would not require an Environmental Authorization.  Phase 1 of the development predominantly entailed the re-development of existing agricultural areas on the site (i.e a non-triggering activity, in terms of the NEMA EIA Regulations), so the unlawfully commenced activities were a relatively small portion of the overall first phase of development.

The following components of the first phase of the development of the Oude Schuur Farming Unit fall within the scope of the current NEMA S24G Application: The clearance of 1.5 ha of indigenous vegetation, which took place during the second half of 2016; the lining and expansion of Dam 4, which took place during the first quarter of 2017. The final component of this first phase of the project would be the upgrade of the existing pump station at Dam 4 (if authorized) which has not yet commenced, but is included within the Application as a continuation of works undertaken to date at Dam 4.

The Second Phase of the project entails inter alia the proposed further expansion of cultivated areas on the site, as well as the enlargement of 2 other dams, the decommissioning of a number of dams and the installation of a pipeline.  This proposed second phase of the development of the site, will form the subject of a separate application for Environmental Authorization (via a Scoping and EIA process), that will be initiated upon the conclusion of the current NEMA S24G rectification process.

Notice is further given of an Integrated Water Use License Application (IWULA) in terms of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998) (NWA). The following water uses as defined in Section 21 of the NWA will be applied for: 21(b) storing of water; 21(c) Impeding or diverting the flow of water in a watercourse and 21(i) Altering the beds, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse. The Integrated Water Use License Application will be synchronised with the application for Environmental Authorisation for the second phase of the project that will be submitted on conclusion of the NEMA S24G Application.

Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants has been appointed by AS Viljoen Jnr Trust to undertake the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment process for the project (in this case a Section 24G process) in accordance with the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (No. 107 of 1998), as amended, EIA Regulations (2014).

The Pre-Application S24G Application Form (which includes specialist reports and an assessment of impacts) has been made available to the public for review for a 30 day comment period, and are downloadable via the link below. Potential Interested & Affected Parties (I&APs) have 30 days, i.e. until 18 April 2019 to register as I&APs and raise any initial issues or concerns related to the proposed project and the aforementioned documents. Any comments received from I&APs will be incorporated into a Comments and Response Report CRR(1) and included in the updated S24G EIA Report , following which the Application and all supporting documentation will be submitted to the DEA&DP.

Should you have any comments, issues or concerns regarding the proposed project or the findings of the Pre-Application S24G EIA Form, please provide your comments in writing to Ross Holland of Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants, by email, fax or post (Fax: 086 653 1765, email: ross@hollandandassociates.net or post: PO Box 31108, Tokai, 7966), on or before 18 April 2019.

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