Having attended the public participation process meeting at the City Hall the cynic in me noticed the following:
Two distinct groupings formed – for and against – which is to be expected.
The sad thing about the two groupings is that they were both polarised in terms or race and, I presume, income. FOR the Fish Farm were the people from Motherwell and, as they said; “…the townships” and AGAINST the Fish Farm were, as many of our former Executive Mayors have said; “…those people from Summerstrand who walk their dogs on the beach and write letters to The Herald!”
The sadder thing about the meeting was that I discerned a tacit approval of the more militant ‘township’ grouping who lobbied fiercely for the next public participation meeting to be held “…closer to the people who would benefit from this thing,” as one of the more eloquent speakers put it.
And it would seem that the people for the fish farm have been granted that wish with TWO public participation meetings being proposed for Round Umpteen.
The next two meetings to ‘discuss’ the Algoa Bay Sea-Based Aquaculture Development Zone Basic Assessment Process will take place as follows:
- Main Hall/Reception Area, Port Elizabeth Vuyisile Mini Square, Govan Mbeki Ave, Port Elizabeth Central, Port Elizabeth, 6001 on 31 July 2019 from 18h00 to 20h30
- Motherwell NU2 Community Hall, Chief Poto Street, Motherwell, 6211 on 1 August 2019 from 18h00 to 20h30
Now the cynic in me views this as a bit of a ‘divide and conquer’ move on the part of DAFF and potentially another polarising move that will play into the hands of the champions of the mariculture venture in Algoa Bay.
By holding these these meetings venues in what are still considered white and black areas I wonder just how many people will attend BOTH and, more importantly, just how many activists AGAINST the proposed fish farm will ‘venture’ into Motherwell to state their case.
I will hazard a guess and say that the Motherwell meeting will only be attended by the hyper local community and rent a crowd with a smattering of hemp wearing long hairs and a strong contingent of media hoping for a “if it bleeds it leads” story for the morning paper.
Please prove me wrong people.
The right and fiscally prudent thing to do would be to ONLY hold ONE meeting in Motherwell – after all we are all South Africans and it is only through dialogue and sharing that we as a nation can come together.
DO NOT ALLOW DAFF OR IT’S AGENT, ANCHOR ENVIRONMENTAL, TO PLAY THESE GAMES WITH US – THEY ONLY SERVE TO FURTHER DIVIDE OUR COMMUNITY. BOTH FOR AND AGAINST GROUPS SHOULD INSIST ON ONE MEETING.
The official statement released by DAFF said:
Anchor has finalised the Draft Basic Assessment Report by incorporating input from stakeholders received during the pre-application public participation process, which was completed on 30 April 2019.
DAFF has submitted the application for environmental authorisation. It is important to note that, based on the revised significance of negative economic impacts linked to finfish farming at Algoa 1 Option 1 from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ after implementation of mitigation measures, DAFF has revised its priorities in respect of mariculture in Algoa Bay and has nominated Option B as the preferred Alternative Option. Alternative Option B involves:
- Mussel and oyster farming at Algoa 1 Option 1 (Summerstrand site)
- Mussel and oyster farming at Algoa 6 (PE Harbour site); and
- Finfish farming at Algoa 7 (Ngqura Harbour site)
You are herewith notified of the upcoming application-phase public participation process (Public Participation Phase 2 of 2), which will commence on 23 July 2019. Please submit your comments on the Draft Basic Assessment Report (BAR) by Wednesday 28 August 2019.
Note that the Draft Basic Assessment Report and Appendices are already available on our website for download at https://anchorenvironmental.co.za/node/344
(If you navigate to our website without the direct link, click on the ‘Public Documents’ tab and select the ‘Algoa Bay Aquaculture Development Zone’ project link)
The Draft BAR (hard copy and ten electronic copies on CD at each location) will be made available during operating hours by 23 July 2019 at the following locations:
- Newton Park Library: Hurd St, Newton Park, Port Elizabeth, 6045
- Motherwell Library: Corner Umlu and Ngqokweni St, Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, 6211
Two public meetings will be held in Port Elizabeth during the upcoming public participation process:
- Date: 31 July 2019. Time: 18:00 – 20:30. Venue: Main Hall/Reception Area, Port Elizabeth Vuyisile Mini Square, Govan Mbeki Ave, Port Elizabeth Central, Port Elizabeth, 6001
- Date: 1 August 2019. Time: 18:00 – 20:30. Venue: Motherwell NU2 Community Hall, Chief Poto Street, Motherwell, 6211
The objective of the application-phase meeting is to present the outcomes of the pre-application public participation process and how comments provided by stakeholders were considered in the Draft BAR.