Information meeting was held with Eskom on 29 January 2004 and it appears as though Eskom is determined to place a line over this valley. It appears also that Eskom is intent on placing the said line where they deem it appropriate (right through the center of the valley). The matter now rests with the public as to whether they can motivate Eskom or the Department of Environment and Tourism to take the line somewhere else? The Public is urged to rally behind the Action Committee to get this power line stopped - no matter which part of the valley it is intended to cross! The Public is also urged to realise that irrespective of where it crosses the valley, it will be seen and the visual impact will be mind boggling and the effects on tourism and some substantial much needed developments and Job Creation for the valley residents, could be severely effected? It will affect us all!
Questions are now been asked as to whether the community has been adequately consulted in the process.
It appears as though very few residents of the valley even knew of the proposed line and those that did know of it, understood the pylons to be of the same size as the existing lines (15m) as opposed to the 45 to 55m as proposed. Most of those that knew were apparently also of the understanding that the line were to go between the existing lines. There is also a perception or understanding from the facts at our disposal, that so called 'stakeholders' that were consulted were not fully representative of the broader community. As a matter of fact, some of the owners of farms approached by Eskom for options to cross their land certainly did not know of the proposed power line and there are many who are not members of an organised Agricultural Union. Then, in respect of the ordinary public and general property owners in the valley, not many, if any, knew about the power line at all! Furthermore, it appears as though the Eskom field worker was of the opinion that he didn't have to share any information with anyone outside of his list of possible candidates for an option to cross their property. There are reports that farmers were told that their neighbours had signed so they should sign and it turns out that this was not the case. Was this unfair coercion?
So was this process flawed? - You be the Judge!
If you feel aggrieved about not being adequately consulted about a matter of such grave impact on your environment, then you should immediately write to the Eskom Transmission Line Action Committee, the authorities and Eskom, stating your objections and why you are unhappy about the process.
The addresses of the various role players as above are;
Your heading should be 'Cape Strengthening Project'
The Tulbagh Eskom Transmission Line Action Committee
C/o John Veschini
P O Box 10,
The Municipal Manager
P O Box 44,
The Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism
Private Bag X447
The Chief Director
Provincial Administration, Western Cape
Department of Environmental Affairs and Planning
Private Bag X9086
Land and Rights Aquisitions
P O Box 1091,
Don't just think about it, do it!!