The civil rights organisation AfriForum submitted commentary on 3 September 2021 against the development of the Matlakeng Ext. 11 informal settlement. This follows after several residents of Zastron were unhappy about the proposed extension. The commentary was directed to Sapphire Environmental Consultants, to whom roleplayers had to submit their commentary.

The proposed area for development of the Matlakeng Ext. 11 informal settlement is located in the Zastron area and falls under the Mohokale Local Municipality. According to AfriForum’s commentary, a section of the development will be located within a reserved area, known as Aasvoëlberg. This area is an important breeding spot for the endangered Cape vulture species and any development in this area will have serious consequences for the vultures.

According to Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum’s regional head for the central region, damage to the vultures’ natural breeding spot cannot be allowed. “The terrain that was proposed for development is a very sensitive area and as such the informal settlement cannot be established there. It will have an enormous negative impact on the environment, as well as on the Cape vulture which is already an endangered species struggling to breed.”

Grobbelaar also believes the poor service delivery of the local municipality is another reason why development should not go ahead. “The service delivery of the Mohokale Local Municipality is very poor at this stage, and they do not even deliver basic services to the town and the neighbouring informal settlement. The sewerage works are not functioning, the dumping site is being mismanaged and there are several other problems. The municipality cannot afford to deliver services to yet another community. If the development goes ahead, people who live there will receive very little or no service delivery,” concludes Grobbelaar.

AfriForum will continuously monitor the progress of this situation and take steps where necessary to ensure that the rights of the Zastron community are protected and that nature is preserved.

Join AfriForum and help us to fight this issue. SMS “Zastron” to 45344 (R1) to become involved.

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