Chappies toll plaza 'was authorised'

2012-05-28 20:23
Cape Town - The Western Cape was given permission by two authorities to build the R54m Chapman's Peak toll plaza, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Transport MEC Robin Carlisle was authorised by National Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and SA National Parks (SANParks) CEO David Mabunda, said Sean Rosenberg, for Carlisle and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

"The approved final site development plan was submitted both to the local [transport] department and the national department in December 2008."

Molewa approved the site development plan on 5 July 2009, and Mabunda gave his written approval of the plans in July 2011, said Rosenberg.

The Hout Bay Residents' Association and the Habitat Council contended that the construction of the plaza was unlawful and unauthorised.

Written permission

Acting for them, Jeremy Muller argued in favour of an interdict being granted to halt construction of the plaza building.

The respondents in the matter are Entilini, of which Murray and Roberts is a senior partner, SANParks, Zille, Carlisle and Molewa.

Muller earlier said Carlisle had failed to get written permission from the national environmental affairs director general as required by the Protected Areas Act.

He said permission was needed for "those things where sods are turned and buildings are erected".

Contravention of the requirement could result in a maximum fine of R5m or a five-year jail sentence.

Rosenberg said that Molewa's authority superseded any lower authority or delegation within the department.

Agreement

Muller argued that the toll building was not being constructed under the consent of a 2003 management agreement on the area.

Rosenberg said it was clear that the agreement was created "in order to carry out the project: the rehabilitation and operation of Chapman's Peak as a tolling operation".

"The agreement contemplates the construction of structures such as the control building and provides for written consent of SANParks to be obtained," he said.

Muller said the title deed conditions for the land, a part of which used to be a private farm, were being contravened.

About 20 people gathered outside the court early in the morning, chanting protest messages and carrying placards.

Some of the signs read: "DA, people have spoken, are you deaf?" and "R54m could rather build three schools".

Activist Bronwen Lankers-Byrne, who went on a hunger strike on the plaza construction site in February, led the group of protesters.

Judge Bennie Griesel adjourned the matter until Tuesday.
- SAPA
Read more on:    sanparks  |  robin carlisle  |  edna molewa  |  helen zille  |  david mabunda  |  cape town  |  tolls
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