‘Too great a toll’: calendar to protest pondoland n2 shortcut launched

2011-11-07 00:00

THE launch of a 2012 calendar Too Great A Toll took place at the South Coast Mall on Saturday.

The event was anchored by Patricia Glyn and hosted by Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC), in collaboration with Avis Rent-a-Car, Ramsgate Stationers, Ramsgate Conservancy and Margate Furnishers.

SWC produced the calendar for the amaDiba community of the Wild Coast to raise funds for their court challenge to a controversial decision by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa.

The minister authorised a shortcut along the N2 route between Durban and East London along the Pondoland Wild Coast.

“The shortcut only shortens the route by 75 km. We have very few pristine areas left, not only in this country but around the world,” said Glyn.

“We need to protect this for the future generations.”

The images on the calendar feature the people and their heritage, which they are fighting to maintain. The title suggests too great a price is being paid for the toll route.

“Our selfish, self-serving government needs to listen to what they people on the ground are saying,” Glyn added.

A village elder, Sampson Gampe, said, “We are suffering because of the proposed roads. We do not know whose homes that road will cut through and who will be forcibly removed.

“The residents will resist that road till the very end.”

John Clarke, a social worker with the amaDiba community, believes that Chinese companies have a particular interest in the area.

“There is a very lucrative opportunity that will feed China’s ndustrialisation.

“They want to mine the titanium there. They have already visited people from the community trying to cut them into a deal.”

Clarke said, “By all means bring the Chinese here to come and experience our tourism and history that will be preserved for generations. What would the mining achieve? After 25 years there will be nothing.”

Last month Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele halted the tolling of national roads, saying good infrastructure is a necessity for a better future for our country, “but this requirement must not leave our people even poorer”.

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