News24

Unesco to weigh in on Chapman's Peak saga

2012-02-28 07:29

Cape Town - The Western Cape transport department on Monday welcomed Unesco's involvement in the Chapman's Peak tolling saga.

Spokesperson Steven Otter said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation would be shown the progress that had been made in protecting Chapman's Peak Drive as part of a World Heritage Site.

He said Unesco had identified invasive alien species and wildfires as the greatest threats to the Cape Floral Region.

The proposed toll plaza was not a threat as it was being built in a disused quarry with no flowers or bushes.

Polar swimmer and environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh recently wrote to Unesco, saying the site was under threat because of construction.

Unesco contacted local authorities to get more information on the project, in order to take appropriate action. It planned to study existing legislative measures protecting Table Mountain National Park as part of the heritage site.

Otter said the toll building was necessary.

"When you have something that beautiful [Chapman's Peak Drive], you also need to make it economically viable so then it actually becomes sustainable," he said.

"There are also other buildings on world heritage sites. Being a heritage site doesn't make it a building-free area."

Otter said the department was still considering the concept of a smaller building put forward by the Civil Rights Action Group.

"We're taking it extremely seriously. It's gone out to an independent specialist and we're going to make a decision after that."

Comments
  • SJ - 2012-02-28 07:57

    South Africans have been fooled into believing they are drivers, whereas they are for the most part in fact, travellers. Drivers are people who use the roads for making profit. Travellers are not and have always had the common law right to travel free of any charges or harresment. You decide what you are, or accept what government forces you into and pay for it.

  • Glyn - 2012-02-28 08:36

    @SJ - So "travelers" are freeloaders? All road users should get free access to all roads! The maintenance of the roads can be done through the fuel levee in a much more efficient way than tolls. The root problem is the way the inefficient anc government is operating.

      ludlowdj - 2012-02-28 09:23

      use alternate route, do not use the toll roads unless you absolutely have to. The principle is simple, A toll road that isn't used does not generate income to pay toll operator costs and will eventually cease to exist as a viable enterprise, The law as far as I am aware still requires a well maintained alternate route to be available.

  • Jarryd - 2012-02-28 09:16

    Upon seeing the artists impression of the proposed building in the newspaper, I would welcome this plaza. It looks modern and smaller than I expected. Protestors are going on about this as if it's a sky scraper from cape town CBD. As well as the fact that it's in the quary, which is an eye sore in itself. Unpopular thought, but it's what I think.

      Barker - 2012-02-28 10:04

      There is a difference of what is being built against what is being proposed. The current building is a skyscraper and an eysore with an entertainment deck for the top brass of the toll concession and their guests.

      Richard - 2012-02-28 14:00

      The top entertainment deck will end up an enclosed conference centre. And where will the delegates stay? Across the road at Entileni's own Hotel. The Tinswalo Lodge. C'mon arrogant Carlisle, we aren't that thick.

  • Gareth - 2012-02-28 10:36

    Do they really need a building? in this day and age, with technology developing and growing faster than the President's family we can't find a way to make a toll collection system without a building? Rubbish! Someone's coining it in here! Also, why to Pugh have to contact UNESCO? Don't they have an office, or officer here in RSA? What was that person doing the last month? They certainly weren't doing any media-scanning!

      Jeeves - 2012-02-28 11:12

      I disagree Gareth. Nothing grows faster than the President's family. (Badum tsss). Personally I like the idea of something modern and cool up there (design wise) and, if properly administrated without dodgy finance management, toll monies can guarantee funds for environment maintenance.

      djmain1 - 2012-02-28 13:44

      @Jeeves - I almost fell off my chair laughing! Do you honestly belive the money will be used for environmental maintenance? How naive!

      Gareth - 2012-02-28 15:42

      Oh Jeeves! If the building was being used as a hub for all roads agency admin, and that was the only logical place then yes. But if not - whats the point? As a tourist to the area perhaps I'm biased to keep it 'unspoiled'... either way - what Gov wants, Gov gets... by hooking AND crooking.

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