The Conservancy has been involved in recent public meetings on two proposed developments in the Waterberg - Thaba Lesodi and Nyathi Wildlife.
At a 23 July Tribunal Hearing for a DFA application for Thaba Lesodi, the Conservancy objected to the high density and the questionable water supply. Thaba Lesodi is a development of enormous scale. Located about 12 kilometres on the Vrymansrust Road, which heads east from the R33 about six kilometres south of Vaalwater, Thaba Lesodi proposes what they call a Golf and Game Estate, or holiday resort, of 850 stands, two boutique hotels, two golf courses, and many other facilities and recreation activities. In explaining to the Tribunal that it is not planned as a residential town/suburb, the Thaba Lesodi lawyer compared it favourably to Sun City. The Conservancy is well aware that many Waterberg residents would like to see such a development in the area. At the same time, the Conservancy remains determined to see that the project is well-planned and that any mitigation measures proposed are adequate and adhered to. We were happily surprised that the Tribunal asked the developers tough questions on many issues (especially density), and didn't seem to be satisfied with many of the answers. As this is written, the Tribunal has not made its final determination.
The other proposal of great interest to the Conservancy is Nyathi Wildlife and Eco Estate. Located on the Melkrivier Road, 30 kilometres from Vaalwater, the project has been contentious for several years. The Tribunal pre-hearing that was held on 11 July reviewed the developer's DFA application.
The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve has engaged the law firm of Bell Dewar & Hall to represent its views and the Conservancy is part of the team of Objectors to the development. The discussion took the form of a courtroom debate between legal teams. The issues related to density and visual pollution, among others.
With contributions from individual Conservancy members, we are helping to pay for some of the legal costs. While the process may take some time and the outcome remains unknown, the cost may become significant. In order to relieve the burden on the few individuals who have pledged their support so far, the WNC is appealing to other members to join in contributing to our legal cause. And note well – this is just one proposal that impacts on the Waterberg and for which we need legal help.
You can be sure there will be others and they may well affect you and your property more directly.
So, please, make the effort to contribute. To hear more about this, contact Richard Wadley at 014755-3506.