Nkandla ‘green’ town worries Ezemvelo

2012-10-17 00:00

KWANXAMALALA — Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has raised concerns about the Umlalazi-Nkandla green town planned for the area near President Jacob Zuma’s home.

The town is expected to be so green, it will generate electrity to sell to Eskom. But that is what concerns Ezemvelo.

In the plans for the Smart Growth Development Project, which will cost about R1,04 billion, are a wind farm, a “small farm” of solar panels and solar panels on buildings.

Exemvelo says the wind turbines — up to 150 metres high — will be in the flight path of a rare species of bat found in the Nkandla reserve, about eight kilometres north of the proposed green town.

Ezemvelo is also concerned about the effects of high-mast security lights in the town.

It said these will lure insects from a wide area, which in turn will draw birds. The increased lighting might also benefit poachers.

According to the preliminary environmental impact study, it is still uncertain how much electricity will be generated at the new town — the first since the ANC government came to power in 1994.

Officials, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the town is likely to become a big white elephant, because it is “in the middle of nowhere”. They believe it will not be viable.

They referred to a modern shopping centre that opened in 2008, but has already fallen into disuse. The taps at the shopping centre were dry and the toilets could not be flushed.

When sister newspaper Beeld visited the area yesterday, the shopping centre was standing empty, except for a few offices used for counselling.

Mac Maharaj, President Zuma’s spokesperson, would not respond yesterday to the flood of criticism unleashed by the entire development (Zuma’s residence, the town and the roads) thus far.

Construction work at the Zuma compound was continuing apace yesterday under the watchful eyes of police, who prohibited Beeld from entering the area.

Women were planting vegetables in terraced fields above the compound.

Beeld could not ascertain from any department yesterday who had conducted the environmental impact study.

The provincial department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs referred Beeld to the national department of Environmental Affairs.

At the time of going to press, Beeld had not yet received any environmental impact study from any of the departments.

The complex will comprise more than 40 residential units (rondavels and chalets), main houses, a helipad and soccer fields, among other things.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.