Jan 27, 2012
Developer frustrated at lack of progress on North West eco-estate proposalBack
Engineering|Aviation|Building|Design|Environment|Eskom|Housing|PROJECT|Projects|Property Development|SECURITY|Sustainable|System|Property Development|Environmental|Infrastructure|Power
© 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 Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...