Concerned groups and organisations are up in arms about the approval that was granted to a local sports club to build a high performance sports centre and offices on 110 hectares of the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in Pretoria.
This decision was taken at a council meeting at the end of May.
The issue was also reported on Mobilitate.
At a capacity meeting last week these civic organisations unanimously objected to the approval that the Tshwane City Council granted to the Sundowns United soccer club for building a high performance centre that will include offices and accommodation.
“Despite information that there were 11 possible sites identified for this purpose, this environmentally sensitive area was chosen,” said Cllr Vicky Bosch.
According to Cllr Siobhan Muller this portion of the nature reserve is a class 1 ridge which is protected from development by a set of environmental legislation.
“It contains red data flora, it is grassland, contains a wetland and is part of the catchment area for the Rietvlei dam, which supplies 25% of the City’s drinking water,” she said at Council’s section 79 committee meeting for economic development and spatial planning.
At the same meeting it was pointed out that there was no public participation process nor was an environmental impact assessment done before making the decision to approve the leasing of land for development.
“When asked to consider waiting for comments from the municipality’s department of environmental management, the ruling party insisted that the item go through council. The department of environmental management was never asked for input on the proposal,” Cllr Siobhan said.
The civic organisations, led by the Friends of Rietvlei, agreed that the matter will be taken forward in terms of the legislation involved.
The Tshwane metro was asked for comment but did not respond.
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