Jan 27, 2012
Developer frustrated at lack of progress on North West eco-estate proposalBack
Aviation|Engineering|SECURITY|Eskom|Housing|PROJECT|Projects|Property Development|Security|System|Security|Building|Property Development|Security|Environmental|Chester Staples|Infrastructure|Marijke Van Heerden|Paul Sebogoe|Power|Security
© Reuse this
Progress has reportedly been frustrated since 2008 and Staples is now considering taking legal action against the provincial government.
Speaking to Engineering News, Staples says the projected value for the development is R80-million and that, over the past four year, his property development company has been trying to conclude the approval requirements to develop the estate.
The final development application facilitation process has been hampered, however, by the failure to reappoint the tribunal that was to adjudicate the matter. The final hear- ing date was first scheduled for April 21, 2011, and then moved to May 5, 2011. Staples was then informed that the tribunal chairperson and committee members would not sit for the hearing until they were guaranteed their salaries.
Subsequently, he says, the final hearing date was tentatively set for August 18, 2011, but was cancelled when member of the executive council (MEC) for local government and traditional affairs Paul Sebogoe did not reappoint the tribunal.
Meanwhile, he was informed by the North West government in July that the MEC did not want to reinstate the members of the tribunal, but aimed to appoint new members, and that this process would have been concluded by the end of August. To date, the tribunal has not been set up, Staples reports.
North West provincial government spatial planning deputy director Marijke van Heerden tells Engineering News the provincial government intended to reappoint the existing tribunal. “However, the MEC wanted to give other people the opportunity to serve on the tribunal. An advertisement was placed in local newspapers and the closing date was October 14, 2011.
“The list of candidates has been submitted to the MEC to nominate suitable candidates. The matter is still with the MEC,” she adds.
Meanwhile, Staples says the developers and investors of the estate have spent about R1.4-million on the development. He says the company will subpoena the government to reimburse expenses, as well as cover the loss of financial opportunities “owing to the incompetence of the North West government and its employees”.
The development is planned to be a low-density, rural, upmarket sustainable housing development, incorporating an airfield with hangar facilities. The environment-friendly houses will feature a solar power system producing a significant portion of the elec- tricity requirements.
Surplus power will be fed back into the national grid, while Eskom-generated power will provide a backup system.
Further, the previously unproductive agricultural land on which the estate will be built will be used to produce teff and lucerne feed for the resident horses. Manure from these horses will, in turn, be used to make compost, which could be used on a planned indigenous tree farm operation and at the paddocks.
Staples adds that, with the development of the estate, the company aims to train people from the surrounding area in stone masonry, while creating two black economically empowered companies to share in the busi- ness of organic gardens and tree farming.
He notes that other skills, such as estate management, equine management, aviation, security, building and farming, can be transferred to the community, creating more work opportunities.
“All infrastructure development require- ment approvals were received, together with our environmental-impact assessment approval, with just the final tribunal hearing required to proceed with the development,” Staples adds.
Meanwhile, other projects have also been affected by the disbanding of the tribunal. Amongst these are the National Department of Public Works’ town planning developments in the region which have been halted owing to the unavailability of land use approval by the tribunal.
The department issued an official letter to the North West provincial government in July last year; however, a source tells Engineering News that the department has still not received a response. “The department has decided to proceed to the next phase of design, as all the other [legislative hurdles] have been cleared. It informed the tribunal that, as a result of its failure to take a decision on this matter, the department is moving on with the project, as it cannot be delayed. It is a matter of budget,” he concludes.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Green Building News
Updated 5 hours ago Construction on the bus rapid transport stations for Phase 1A of the Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) project was likely to start before the end of the year, with the construction tenders currently being adjudicated, RRT said on Tuesday. Phase 1A of this four-phase...
Updated 6 hours ago Hundreds of innovators and entrepreneurs have gathered in Cape Town to discuss how to support more innovation in South Africa in a bid to drive the economy forward. Venture capitalists, dealmakers, entrepreneurs and academics have been mingling at the South African...
Updated 6 hours ago South African business leaders were more likely than their global counterparts to encourage creative behaviours and “disruptive processes” to drive innovation, the South African results of the GE Global Innovation Barometer, released on Tuesday, have shown. The 2014...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse. Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm Fischer Consortium the contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...