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Construction goes ahead on Chapman’s Peak PDF Print E-mail

February 21, 2012

Despite deadlines from activists and threats of legal action from the Residents Association Hout Bay (RAHB), construction of the contentious toll plaza on Chapman’s Peak will continue as planned.

The Civil Rights Action Group (Crag) met with the Cape Town Province on Thursday last week to discuss alternative options to the two-storey toll plaza. Hector Eliott, Deputy to MEC Robin Carlisle, explains: “The alternative concept is ‘pay-on-foot’, so similar in some ways to a parking lot arrangement. This was considered as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment and public participation process, which took place from 2003 to 2008, but was rejected at the time as being impractical. Crag argues that technology has moved on since then, which is true, although no specific proposal was made. Crag only presented the concept.” Eliott says relevant experts have been brought in to reconsider if this is feasible for Chapman’s Peak Drive from a practical perspective in terms of engineering, town-planning, traffic volumes etc. He stressed, however, that although the province was seriously considering all options, construction of the current toll plaza would go ahead as planned.

The battle around Chapman’s Peak has led to a division within Crag. Although some members accept the province’s willingness to look at other options, others say the province has no intention to seriously consider anything but the expensive toll plaza. Bronwen Lankers-Byrne, a Crag activist who has been on a hunger strike since February 4 in protest against the toll plaza, says the province’s response is ‘unacceptable’. “It’s unacceptable they say they’re pretending to be looking at another option, but at the same time, they announce construction is going ahead. This is a national heritage site. What they are doing is immoral and unjust,” she explains.

According to Eliott, however, the protestors on sight are not part of Crag and Crag disassociates itself from these protestors. “Protestors who break the law and endanger themselves and others can expect that the law will take its course.”
Meanwhile, the Residents’ Association Hout Bay is in the process of taking legal advice on how to stop the current developments. Len Swimmer, Chairman of RAHB, says the organisation is meeting with lawyers at the end of next week. He explains there is no hurry. If the province goes ahead with the building, they’ll eventually just have to

Source: Travel Today - News & Specials

 

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