Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
Residents and activists from the south Durban area have formed a new campaign to oppose harbour and industrial |expansion plans which might threaten the stability of nearby residential areas.
Leaders of the “Act Now against the South Durban Port Expansion” campaign say they are worried that residents in several parts of the city are being asked to take part in a series of piecemeal consultation meetings instead of a single process which considers all the different impacts throughout the city.
Campaign committee member Desmond D’Sa said in a pamphlet distributed this week that the eThekwini municipality had invited the public to a series of consultation meetings on the draft “back of port local area plan” which deals with |several land-use and rezoning proposals related to the multibillion-rand Transnet Dig-Out Port project.
“The municipality is refusing to discuss the port expansion projects spear-headed by Transnet. They are only willing to tell us about plans for roads and land use related to the ‘back of ports’ area.”
However, there were several other planning projects undertaken by the provincial government, eThekwini municipality and Transnet that could affect south Durban and other parts of the city.
“We must demand that all |of these are brought into a single participation process with all spheres of government, developers and communities to chart a sustainable and common way forward. Otherwise we will be arguing about one puzzle piece at a time and will never change the overall picture.”
Other committee members include groundWork alliance director Bobby Peek, University of KwaZulu-Natal academics Professor Brij Maharaj and Professor Patrick Bond, members of Earthlife Africa and residents of Glenwood, Umbilo, Bluff, Merebank, Clairwood, Isipingo and Wentworth.
Although eThekwini insists that no one will be forcibly removed from their homes, the campaigners reject these assurances. For example, they argue that more than 6 000 people in Clairwood would be compelled to relocate as a result of market pressure if the area was rezoned from “residential” to “logistics” use.
Umbilo resident Alice Thompson said documentation provided by the municipality also indicated that residents in the Umbilo/Glenwood area could be affected by future rezoning proposals in the belt between Umbilo and Frere roads.
They are urging residents to study the available project documents on the municipal website: www.durban.gov.za/Resource_Centre/Current%20Projects/Pages/Back-of-Port-Local-Area-Plan.aspx.
* Residents can send their objections to Arcus Gibb consultant Katherine de Jongh (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to email@example.com.