Tulbagh News Page 1

Tulbagh News Page 1 Tulbagh News Page 2
Every place has a story to tell! The valley is no different from anywhere else. There are interesting topics of news about this and about that, reflecting the pulse of the community and the issues that we face that impact upon our daily lives.

It is intended here to report on newsworthy items and topics of interest and for this page to act as a Local Notice Board.

23 December, 2008
Response letter from Eskom to ETLAC regarding the date for submitting comments for the HIA application by Eskom
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23 December, 2008
Letter to Eskom regarding the date for submitting comments for the HIA application by Eskom
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12 December, 2008
Municipality holds a Special meeting to ratify their salary increased, but fail to add the matter of the Eskom power line onto their agenda, despite the fact that they are aware of the feelings of the community and the deadlines we face.  Mail from John Veschini to Tulbagh News castigating the Municipality is available for information
18 November, 2008
Eskom 765kv Power Line proposed to go through the centre of this Tulbagh valley
The I&AP (interested and affected parties) meeting at which the scoping issues of the Heritage Impact Assessment will be presented will be held at 14h00 on Monday 24th November 2008 at the Morgansvlei Country Estate just outside Tulbagh.

Folks, if you care about this valley and don't want to see a Power Line of this magnitude traverse the valley just south of Digby and the proposed Golf Course, you should perhaps make the effort to attend? Actually, you will see it from anywhere and it will destroy the valley as we know it, let alone the impact it will have on Tourism and the rich heritage of Tulbagh.
John Veschini
10 September 2008
Bantamsklip (Proposed Nuclear Power Station) Kappa Transmission lines

From the EIA Consultant

"Eskom is currently reviewing some of the proposed routes so I've been holding back on sending out info to potential I&APs until Friday 12 September, 2008 which is the due day for Eskom to submit the routes to Arcus Gibb, if not done by Friday, the whole EIA schedule will be pushed back.

We now have two routes proposed for Muldersvlie Bacchus.

The proposed alternative routes for Eskom powerlines that are being investigated donít affect the Koue Bokkeveld or the Witzenberg Valley.

The one route coming from the south passes near Matroosberg, crosses the N1 and then the R46 next to the Verkeerdevlei Dam. It then heads north up to the proposed Kappa substation which is next to the Kolkiesrivier Dam (south-east of Inverdoorn Dam).

The other route comes from the Muldersvlei substation next to the N1 and goes west of Wellington and up to the Nuwekloof Pass and then follows the existing powerlines down past Wolseley, Rawsonville and the Brandvlei Prison to the Bacchus substation at the southern end of the Kwaggaskloof Dam."
8 September 2008
Bantamsklip (Proposed Nuclear Power Station) Kappa Transmission lines

It has now become apparent upon a visit to my offices by the consultant who is handling the EIA that the Tulbagh Valley is being considered as an alternative route for the above power line - in the Wolseley area.
Eskom seems intent upon destroying this valley, as now we are talking about two massive power lines that will traverse this valley.
It is therefore vitally important that anyone who feels concerned about the prospect of two sets of major power lines traversing this valley should immediately register as interested and affected parties to the email address below or by fax to the number provided.
There will be a public meeting in Tulbagh soon.

Dear Sir / Madam,
Please find attached a BID and project overview map regarding an Eskom proposal to erect power lines through your municipality.
The bottom of page 6 of the BID provides the envisaged preliminary timeline for the scoping and EIA, while page 7: Figure 2 provides an overview of the EIA processes.
We are currently registering I&APs for this project and will be holding public meetings in September/October.
We kindly ask that you pass this information onto anyone that you feel be interested in registering as an I&AP and/or contact us for further information.
To register as an I&AP, please send your name / organisation's name, postal address, email address, phone/fax numbers etc., to:
PO Box 32097, Braamfontein, 2017
086 601 0381 Ė fax
13 August, 2008
A Record of Decision has been issued to Sightfull 60 (PTY) Ltd for the construction of an 18 hole Golf Course, 311 Houses, 60 cluster units and a Wellness Centre. As part of the approval process, land will be made available for the extension of the Low Cost Housing area of Tulbagh, some Black Ecconomic Empowerment projects will be created and the Dam on Schalkenbosch will be enlarged to provide extra water for Tulbagh.  Numerous job and wealth creation opportunities will be created and the project will be a boost for the property values in Tulbagh for the benefit of all
10 August, 2007
The Municipality does it again! Now they have approved a plan for the local Spar to encroach over the pavement (they have already built over the boundary?) without a public participation process, to assertain whether the public is happy to loose some more of the one and only pavement on Van Der Stel Street. So where are we going with this? Has the rule of law finally collapsed in Tulbagh?
8 June, 2007
To date, the Ward Councillor has not duly constituted her Ward committee and the Municipality and the Minister of Local Government seems totally intransigent to the plight of the affected residents and ratepayers. Letters go unanswered. So, we are left without a means of communicating with Council.
16 November, 2006
Webmaster advised that the Ward Committee elections have been declared by the Municipality at a meeting on 12 October, 2006 to be nul and void (unlawful).
The notice was apparently posted in the Witzenberg Herald issue of 10 November, 2006 but the Ratepayers / Inwoners Forum has yet never had the courtesy of a response to it's representation which caused the furore. Be that as it may, a battle has been won. There is still hope for democracy and we thank and congratulate the municipality for a wise decision.
16 November, 2006
What appears to be raw sewerage, threatens the health of the Tulbagh residents and water users as far away as Cape Town and the West Coast towns yet again.
27 October, 2006
Eskom Consultant's response to some of the Appellants against the Eskom 765kv Power Line has been received. Appellants have until 15 November, 2006 to add further comment. For this report click on the right.
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13 July, 2006
Witzenberg Municipality does a backtrack on it's decision not to appeal against the Decision by DEAT to issue a Record of Decision for Eskom to proceed
13 July, 2006
ETLAC and others submit their appeal against the Eskom Power Line
14 June, 2005
Eskom has been granted a Conditional Record of Decision by Government to go ahead with the horrible powerline that is intended to traverse the valley. The Public have now only 30 days in which to lodge their objections. More to follow on the course of action to prevent this Power Line from destroying the Tulbagh Valley.
26 April, 2006
What the proposed 765kv power lines that are intended to traverse the Tulbagh valley may look like.
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14 July, 2005
Tulbagh is not alone in its fight for survival because of an insensitive Electricity supply company. See what the community of Kamionki in Poland is up against!

Help save Kamionki from catastrophe!
14 July, 2005
Part of the route for the Eskom Power Line to the borders of the Tulbagh Valley is revealed! Some owners of property in the valley, are to be severely affected by the proposed Power Line! The rest of us too!
More Information
7 June, 2005
Cape Times publishes an article which confirms findings that there is a link between Power Lines and Leukaemia
To Article
28 April, 2005
We are not alone in the fight against the proliferation of monster Power Lines internationally. Click on the link to the right to see what the Electrical supply company is doing to the Kamionki community in Poland and get the feel for what it could look like if such a line were brought through this valley!!
25 April 2005
A letter from the Tulbagh Transmission Line Action Committee together with Petition from residents of the Tulbagh Valley sent to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism objecting to the Proposed 765kv Power Line that Eskom is indending to place over the Tulbagh Valley.
More Information
17 March, 2005
Letter written by the Tulbagh Residents /Inwoners Forum to the Wizenberg Municipality and various Provincial and Government Departments about the encroachment of a building to approximately 4,8 m over the street boundary of the main street of Tulbagh is available for Public information.
No action has been taken in respect of this letter by the municipality or the higher tiers of Government.  The Municipality does not even work within the requirements of the Provincial Ordinance and nobody appears to care! Does this mean that the rule of Law has broken down in this municipality? Are we to understand that we can all do what we like from now on?
More information
17 March, 2005
Municipality takes a strong stand against the Powerlines at last!

Extract of a recent resolution of Council follows.

Gamma Omega 765 kV power line: ESKOM

The Mayoral Executive Committee resolved not to approve the suggested route through Witzenberg for the 765 kV power line. Furthermore that a joint effort to interact with ESKOM be supported and that a meeting with all stakeholders be scheduled as soon as possible.
The Action Committee of Tulbagh and the Du Toit
group will be included in the joint effort. Any other interested person or party must submit their details to the Municipal
Manger as a matter of urgency.
6 March, 2005
Witzenberg Municipal Council lays it on the line to Eskom in respect of the proposed 765kv power line. Pity Council can't get in sync with the feelings of the community and oppose the line entirely!

Gamma Omega 765 kV power line:

    Item 7.16 van die Uitvoerende Burgemeesterskomitee vergadering gehou op 18 Januarie 2005, verwys.

    After consultation with the Executive Mayoral Committee, the Executive Mayor, resolved:

Not to approve the new route as suggested by ESKOM and to advise ESKOM that the following options will be considered:

(i)     The same route as the existing one on condition that the poles must be designed in such way that it can accommodate any further power lines through this area and also furthermore to be of an acceptable aesthetic appearance to Council and the community and that the final approval of the relevant design and type of pole must be approved by Council after community consultation.

(ii)     Underground cabling.

`n Memorandum van die Bestuurder:  Beplanning en Projekte, gedateer 15 Februarie 2005, word ingebind as bylae 7.23.

Die Uitvoerende Burgemeester het besluit dat die roete teen die noordelike grens van die Prince Alfred's Hamlet meentgronde goedgekeur word.
29 January, 2004
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
Witzenberg Municipality
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
Cape Town

Eskom Transmission
Land and Rights Aquisitions
P O Box 1091,

Don't just think about it, do it!!
21 December, 2003
Copy of Municipality's letter to Eskom about the official Council standpoint is published for general information
To Page
9 December, 2003
Letter 2 from the Tulbagh Transmission Line Action Committee - in response to letter received from Eskom has been sent.
To Page
21 November, 2003
Public feed-back meeting about Eskom's plans to bring a 765kv Power Line through the middle of this valley was well attended. Meeting overwhelmingly rejected the proposed power line and endorsed the Action Committee's efforts to have it stopped using whatever means at their disposal. Municipality participation conspicuously lacking as indicated by the apparent absence of any Councillors or officials at the meeting. Questions were asked from the floor as to whether the Witzenberg Council should not be seen to be more supportive of it's community by taking appropriate action to stop the line from being proceeded with.
More information
16 October, 2003
Eskom's response in the form of a report from their Consultant has been received together with a list of 'stakeholders' that have been 'consulted'.
More Information
21 July, 2003
A letter addressed to Tulbagh Transmission Line Action Committee regarding the Proposed 765kv Transmission Line through the valley, was received from Eskom.
More information
18 July, 2003
A letter from the Tulbagh Transmission Line Action Committee has been sent to Eskom wherein the objections by the Committee to the proposed Transmission Line through the valley were recorded.
More information
1 June, 2003
The proposed Eskom Cape Strengthening Project causes alarm to the residents of the Tulbagh valley and adjacent communities of Gouda, Ceres, Prince Alfreds Hamlet and Riebeek Kasteel and Malmesbury. It is proposed to traverse the valleys with an enormous 765kv Transmission Line the height of the length of half of a Rugby field (or a 14 storey building).  An Action committee has been formed and are interacting with Eskom to prevent this from happening to the valley.
More information