Conservation in Crisis
INVITATION TO A WEBINAR
THE ANIMALS AND VELD IN MARLOTH PARK ARE IN TERRIBLE CONDITION. THE SITUATION IS CRITICAL AND URGENT ACTION IS REQUIRED TO PREVENT FURTHER SUFFERING OR DAMAGE. THIS PANEL DISCUSSION WILL BE LED BY EXPERTS TO PROVIDE THE FACTS AND FIGURES BEHIND THE CURRENT CRISIS AND TO EXPLAIN THE LIKELY CONSEQUENCES IF IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NOT TAKEN. PARTICIPANTS WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE COMMENTS AND VOICE QUESTIONS DIRECTLY OR BY TYPING MESSAGES TO THE MEETING MEDIATOR.
MEDIATOR: Natalia ROSA
Gerrie Camacho - MTPA • Dr Pieter Kieviet - State Vet Nkomazi . Ralf Kalwa - Rhengu Environmental Services • Denis Goffinet - MPPOA • Dr Peet Venter - Marloth Wildlife Fund • Evan Powell - Marloth Park Honorary Rangers • Velly Makwakwa - Conservation Manager NKLM • Deidre Joubert - Wild & Free • Trudy Kaseke - Director Community Services NKLM • Cyril Rapinga - Spokesperson NKLM • Isaiah Shongwe - Legal Advisor NKLM • Jan Muller - Senior Manager Wildlife Protection Services MTPA (RETIRED) Neels Van Wyk - Section Ranger Kruger National Park South
Saturday JULY 11th 2020 - 11h00 to 12h30
Register in advance for this webinar. You will be aRegister in advance for this webinar. You will be able to submit your questions by E-mail to the mediator before the webinar once you receive your registration confirmation:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ovIveJskQNCNuD4tDMDg2g Open to Marloth Park property owners only. You will be able to submit your questions by E-mail to the mediator before the webinar once you receive your registration confirmation:
13 August 2019
Update on the mining
Over 4000 forms from Interested & Affected Parties were submitted to Singo Consulting the EAP (Environment Assessment Practitioner) representing the mining company. There were many flaws found in the mining application and public participation process.
The threat has been highlighted in the press programs will be airing on national television on both Carte Blanche and SABC 3 Fokus channels later this month.
We have formed a very strong alliance with all organisations in Marloth and other IAP's in the area. We did an employment survey in Nkomazi and compared to the 150 jobs the mine may create over the more than 6000 people employed in the agricultural and tourism industries in the area.
Water, or the lack thereof, however remains the most important issue with regard to the mining operation. We do not even have enough water for all the farmers at present with farms being restricted to only 25% of their normal allowance. The mine will use billions of litres or water per year and most certainly have the possibility of contaminating what little there is left.
Together we will defeat this threat!
12 June 2019
The Threat of mining raises its ugly head once more!
Singo Consulting representing Manzolwandle Investments Mining Company announced a public participation meeting in Hectorspruit with less than 24 hours notice!
Upon arrival at the location, the Engen garage at Hectorspruit, we witnessed a large group of the local Nkomazi community present. About 45 Marloth Park, Malelane and Mjejane residents attended. Retha Nel from the Corridor Gazette and Councilor Mariette Preddy were also present.
We soon learned that the local community had been informed that the meeting was at 09h00 and they had already been briefed by the Director of the mining company, Manzolwandle Investments (Pty) Ltd , and their consultants from Singo Consulting. It seems there are promises of jobs and wealth creation to garner support from the disaffected local community.
The company director started to brief the crowd in the most appalling conditions under a tree next to the noisy N4. It is clear that they are very serious and claim to have already been granted prospecting rights in our area. We objected sternly to the short notice given for the meeting and the location which was not conducive to a formal meeting or debate. The meeting was totally disorganized and many contradictions were stated. Eventually they capitulated to our objections and agreed to adjourn the meeting and to propose a new date and location in the near future.
We must once again unite as a community to fight this development which will certainly damage our environment. It is also very important to understand that the local community must see benefit from the money earned by eco-tourism in our region. Tourism in our area employs many people from the local community in lodges, guest houses, B&B’s, self-catering establishments, restaurants etc. and these businesses support other local businesses. The employees must be informed of the dangers that mining poses to the natural beauty of our area that attracts tourists here and damaging that will kill the tourism business and thus their jobs are at stake. They must be informed of the date of the next meeting and be invited to attend as interested and affected parties. I urge all involved in tourism and business to send an E-mail to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep you informed of the date of the next meeting. And of course all property owners must register as interested and affected parties.
Below is a map of the proposed mining area. It includes Lionspruit and Marais Farm which is the land-locked farm within Marloth that has a 12 km border on the river with KNP and access through Marloth on an agricultural servitude.
11 July 2018
- To ensure wide and general recognition of the invaluable opportunity to protect the irreplaceable natural and historical heritage of the Marloth Park conservation region and to view preservation of all its natural assets as a mandatory challenge.
- To protect and preserve for all time, the pristine natural bushveld conditions and flora and fauna of the region.
- To represent the interests of the property owners, stakeholders and investors by relentlessly applying all necessary legal, ecological and other relevant disciplines required for the achievement of these goals and to effectively discourage or eliminate activities that may threaten the rightful objectives of the MPPOA.
- To continuously educate and encourage all involved to apply total respect for and commitment to the preservation of the natural conservancies in the region.
- To encourage and assist in the development of the region as a professionally controlled and viable Eco Tourism attraction in a manner that will ensure that all human, technological and economic resources applied are managed for the prime purpose of preservation of the natural resources of the region.
- To co-operate with all stakeholders including national, regional and local governmental authorities, relevant institutions ,and businesses, wildlife and conservation organizations, neighbours and the local community of the region and to maintain a fair, pragmatic but firm stance in respect of conservation principles at all times.
MPPOA Voice 17th August
MPPOA wishes to confirm that the proposed animal off-take for 2017 which was due to commence last week has been suspended due to an urgent court interdict brought by the Marloth Park Rate Payers Association (MPRA) the respondents to the case are
1. Nkomazi Municipality
2. Mauricedale Abattoir
3. Marloth Park FORUM (including MPPOA)
4. Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency
Issues of MPRA in their Interdict application include
? The use of firearms in a built up area and the additional risk posed shooting after dark
? The qualifications of those responsible for the shooting
? The removal of animal carcasses or animal products from Marloth Park to Mauricedale Abattoir or any facility outside the Mpumalanga Province Foot & Mouth disease protection red zone
? Legalities relating to the issuing of the permit by the Municipality and Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency
MPPOA as a member of the FORUM is reviewing our legal position to oppose the application to stop the animal off-take.
It should be noted that further delays can result in the off-take not occurring this year, and thus the potential of an over stocked animal population being experienced next year. A potential consequence of a delay is further veld deterioration and starving animals. Marloth Park has recently been praised for the work done in recent years in improving the veld condition, The improved veld condition are the result of a number of initiatives, projects under taken by various organizations within the FORUM, the Municipality implementing programs to reduce animal populations, and in addition numerous property owners contributed with the rehabilitation of their own properties. No one likes to see the takeoff of animals in the proposed manner however the lack of viable financial alternatives led the Municipality to issue the off-take contract.
An interesting point 20 years ago, Marloth had excellent veld and grass conditions with natural predators entering at will from KNP, seeing game from ones stoep was an exciting event and not necessary a daily event, today one gets a procession of animals past ones house on a continual basis, there is a message to all property owners in this!
Whilst the application by MPRA to obtain an interdict to prevent the animal off-take is before the court, MPPOA can confirm that the Municipal Rangers are clear that they can continue with their regular duties without hindrance, this includes the euthanizing of injured animals where needed.
MPPOA will advise further as details are made available
IMPORTANT INFO - COMMENTS REQUIRED BEFORE 29 JUNE 2017 - Please mail to email@example.com
Draft Nkomazi Land Use Management Scheme, 2016 (“2016 LUM Scheme” or “draft LUM Scheme”): Brief Summary of some aspects and comments / recommendations by Marloth Park Property Owners association (“MPPOA”) [30 June 2017]
Restrictions and Limitations in respect of Summary and comments / recommendations (“Summary”), and Indemnity to MPPOA committee members and MPPOA members who assisted in compiling the Summary:
1.This Summary is a discussion document only, compiled by some of the MPPOA committee members and MPPOA members with a view to put forward our understanding of the draft 2016 LUM Scheme and related prescripts and/or policies and to comment and recommendation on such, for consideration by the Nkomazi District Municipality (“the Municipality”) before finalising the 2016 LUM Scheme and related prescripts/ policies thereto.
2.This Summary may only be used by the Municipality, and only for the limited purpose set out in the paragraph above. Any person who seeks to rely on any portion of the Summary for whatever purposes do so entirely at their own risk.
3.Comments and recommendations on the draft 2016 LUM Scheme and related prescripts / comments have to be submitted before the end of June 2017. Due to limited time available as well as the volume of prescripts and policies as well as other factors (including the fact that we are not legal practitioners or specialists on municipal law) we may not have covered or commented on all aspects relevant to us referred to in the 2016 LUM Scheme and related prescripts/ policies thereto. Some aspects not commented on, on the face of it appear to be acceptable. However, not commenting or making recommendations in respect of any particular aspect mentioned in the said 2016 LUM Scheme or related prescripts/policies should not be construed as necessarily agreeing to it.
4.Due to the unavailability of some of the MPPOA members who live elsewhere in the RSA or abroad, and who may not be aware of the proposed 2016 Scheme, or due to lack of time available to study the draft Scheme and related legislation/ policies and comment thereon, we cannot guarantee that all MPPOA members had sight of this Summary or agreed to the contents thereof or comments and recommendations. Also, as the Municipality invited the general public to comment on the proposed 2016 LUM Scheme (which includes not only Marloth Park but also the Greater Malelane and Komatiepoort areas), this document does not necessarily reflect the views and/or comments / recommendations of all Mppoa members.
5.If additional or new documentation, legislation or information is brought to our attention subsequent to the date of this Summary, which would affect the results of our Summary, comments or recommendations detailed below, we reserve the right to amend and qualify our Summary, Comments and Recommendations accordingly.
Related legislative prescripts and/or policies:
- We regard inter alia the following legislation / prescripts and / or policies to be relevant and/or related to the 2016 LUM Scheme (but do not suggest that the list is complete):
- Draft Nkomazi Spatial Development Framework, 2016 (“2016 SDF”);
- Nkomazi Spatial Planning and Land Use Management By-Law, 2015 (“2015 By-Law”)
- Spatial Plannng and Land Use Act, No. 16 of 2013 (“SPLUMA”)
- National Environmental Management Act, No. 107 of 1998 (“NEMA”)
- National Environment Management Laws Amendment Bill, 2015
- Protected Areas Act, 2003
- Marloth Park Town Planning Scheme, 2000 (“2000 Scheme”)
Repeal of the 2000 Scheme
- Once in operation, the 2016 LUM Scheme will integrate and consolidate 3 existing Schemes, namely that of Marloth Park (the 2000 Scheme), Greater Malelane (1997) and Komatipoort (1997). However, some of the provisions of the 2000 Scheme have been retained in the 2016 LUM Scheme.
The 2016 Land Use Management Scheme:
- Due to the number of Laws, prescripts and policies applicable, only a few apparently more important provisions of the 2016 LUM Scheme 2000 scheme 2016 are referred to in this Summary. For reasons of convenience, definitions and provisions are not recorded verbatim in this Summary but summarised, and our comments and/or recommendations are recorded in brackets and italics immediately after provisions referred to.
- The following provisions of the 2016 LUM seem relevant:
- Para 1.1. The 2016 LUM Scheme is established in terms of SPLUMA.
- Para 1.2. The 2015 By-Law (promulgated in terms of SPLUMA) “serves as the legal entity” for the 2016 LUM Scheme. (Not sure what is meant by the words in inverted commas.)
- Para 1.3. All land development applications to be submitted to the Municipality.
- Para 1.5. All applications for amendments to the Land Use Scheme to be submitted to the Municipality.
- Para 1.8. The 2016 LUM Scheme must give effect to the draft 2016 SDF (Spatial development Framework). The 2015 By-Law indicate the purpose of the 2016 LUM Scheme which is in line with SPLUMA.
- Para 1.9. To be read with section 25 of SPLUMA, which sets out enabling legislation for 2016 LUM Scheme regulations, a map (indicating zoning) and register (indicating amendments to the 2016 LUM Scheme). In terms of section 17(4) of the 2015 By-Law, the 2016 LUM Scheme must have regard to the “Integrated Development Plan”, which was put together in terms of the Municipal Systems Act”, the draft 2016 SDF as well as Provincial legislation.
- Still in terms of para 1.9. The 2016 LUM Scheme must include all “essential elements” set out in Chapter 5 of SPLUMA, including: zoning for all properties, land use regulations pertaining to conditions, limitations in respect of land use rights or zoning, provisions for public participation in respect of consent sought from municipality re usage or relaxation of usage, etc., etc.
- Para 2.1 of the 2016 LUM Scheme (in compliance with the 2015 By-Law). A Land Use Scheme register shall be kept, setting out details of developments as per para 2.1.
- Para 2.2. The information contained in the register “is regarded as part of” the 2016 LUM Scheme. (Not clear how a register of existing or new developments/ buildings can form part of the 2016 LUM Scheme. First bullet: The scheme is suppose to set out prescripts, not record specific sites built in terms of the scheme. That is the function of the register. The Scheme and register appear to relate to two different aspects. Maybe the word “register” must be added after the word “scheme” for the sentence to make sense. Second bullet: The word “scheme” to be substituted by the word “register” or maybe the word “register” has to be added after “scheme”. Word “it” to be inserted after “make”. Third bullet: The word “register” should be inserted after the word “scheme”)
- Para 2.3. A property situated in a particular “use zone” shall be entitled (in addition to the uses set out in the 2016 LUM Scheme) to the uses in the Annexures to the Scheme, and shall be subject to “special conditions and restrictions…in accordance with the layout as shown in the annexures to the Scheme. If conflicting provisions, information on conditions and restrictions in annexures shall prevail.
- “Animal refuge / Animal care centre”. (It is recommended that the following sentence be added. “As no domestic pets or domestic animals are allowed in Marloth Park, no Animal refuge or Animal care centre are allowed in Marloth Park either.” (In the 2000 scheme provision was made for no animals to be kept in Marloth Park. It is important that this prohibition be retained in the new 2016 scheme, unless provided for in other legislation elsewhere. No harm can be done by having the prohibion specifically included in the 2016 LUM Scheme, to avoid any misunderstanding.)
- “Conservancy” (The last sentence in the definition appears not to cater for a place like Marloth Park, which presently is a registered conservancy as well as a holiday town. This problem can be resolved by adding the following words to the last sentence: “or the Marloth Park conservancy, which comprise of both a holiday township and conservancy.”)
- Some of the definitions dealing with accommodation are confusing, e.g.: (With reference to the definitions of “Boarding House” as well as “Residential Building”, it is difficult to fit these definitions into any form of accommodation applicable to Marloth Park. It is suggested that the definition of Boarding House be deleted or that it be made clear in the definition that it does not apply to Marloth Park. There is also confusion when reading the two definitions in conjunction and attempting to understand the meaning thereof. In this regard, “Boarding House” is defined as a “dwelling house…”, whilst “Residential Building” (which includes a “Boarding House”) purports to exclude a “dwelling house”. In other words, a Boarding house that looks like a dwelling house cannot be a Residential Building, which makes no sense.) It is suggested that the definition of Residential Building be amended.
- (The use of the words “self-catering” in some of the definitions in the 2016 LUM Scheme creates confusion and, as the term appears not to add any real value to the definitions, we suggest that consideration should be given to delete the wording or sentences where the wording appears, as the case may be. To demonstrate the confusion, see for example the definition of “Bed and Breakfast” (which includes “self-catering” rooms) to the definition “Guest House” (which includes Bed and Breakfast, but does not cater for “self-catering” rooms). In Marloth Park (being a holiday town and conservancy) all houses, including “holiday homes”, have got furniture, bedding and kitchen utensils in them and are therefore “self-catering” and rented out (in terms of clause 12 (3) of the 2000 Scheme and/or common law property owner rights.)
- (Property owners in Marloth Park have for many years been renting their holiday homes out via estate agents or otherwise over holiday periods and weekends. Although this inherent right to rent out already exists in law (cf. common law and clause 12(3) of the 2000 Scheme), it is felt that it would provide more clarity if a definition is inserted and the right included in such definition in the 2016 LUM Scheme. Including it in the 2016 LUM Scheme would it is suggested enhance better control over accommodation in Marloth Park by the Municipality and assist with getting correct figures on accommodation and the human footprint, in order to access and monitor Marloth Park’s carrying capacity. If the right of owners to rent out is not catered for in the 2016 Scheme, home owners may go underground with regards to renting out their properties which will make it very difficult, if not impossible for the Municipality to control. With the above in mind, it is suggested that the term “Holiday home” be inserted in the definition clauses of the 2016 LUM Scheme and be defined as follows: “A holiday home is a house in Marloth Park that is occupied on a temporary basis for holiday purposes by the owner or his family, friends or others and that can be rented out for short periods of time over holidays or weekends.”)
- “Floor Area Ratio” (“FAR”) (This definition ought to be extended for Marloth Park, due to the fact that as much as possible veldt should be left available for animals for grazing purposes. In this regard, it is suggested that a sentence be added to the definition of FAR, as follows: “In Marloth Park the FAR also includes areas such as lapas or areas cordoned off as swimming pools and braai areas as well as drive ways and carports.”)
- “Tourism” (The definition seems to have left out several forms of accommodation, e.g. guest houses, etc.)
- “Township” (Not defined. It is suggested that the word be deleted if no value can be added by defining the word.)
- Para 4.1. 7) The prescript should not apply to Marloth Park. It is suggested that a sentence be added “No fence shall be erected around properties in Marloth Park without the consent of the Municipality” or whatever wording is in By-Law.
- Para 2.1, page 67 onwards. Schedules on “Land Use Category” (Not clear where Marloth Park is dealt with. To be fixed.)
- Para 5 on page 68. Marloth Park is mentioned along with Kruger Park. Not sure which area is meant when it says: “No new development is to be permitted within the nature conversation zone.” Perhaps a map should be referred to or nature conservation zone should be (better) defined.
- Para 2.7 on page 82 “Conservation” Schedule, seems applicable to Marloth Park.
- Para 4 and 5, page 83 deals with Marloth Park and Lion Spruit. With reference to Marloth Park “Use” is confined to Residential 1 (as set out in the 2000 Scheme), “and as per title deed conditions” “is deemed desirable”.
- Para 2 on page 113. Deals with Marloth Park. Special Use as per 2000 Scheme
- Para 2.4., page 137, deals with removal / amendment of restrictive or obsolete conditions registered against the title of the land. (See also sections 63 and 64 (Chapters 5 and 6) of the Nkomazi 2015 SPLUM By-Law.
- Para 2.5. (page 139), deals with Consent Use
Prescripts of 2000 Scheme that do not seem to appear in the 2016 LUM Scheme.:
- Important provisions in the 2000 Scheme, relevant for Marloth Park, seem to have been left out in the 2016 LUM Draft, which should, if not catered for in other enforceable legislation, be carried over to the 2016 LUM Scheme, e.g.
- Animals (which we assume includes “Pets” (see clause 14.7 of the 2000 Scheme)
- No wood or iron buildings (See clause 14.8)
- See also 14.11 (w.r.t. flora – the clause incorrectly refers to fauna), 14.12 w.r.t. fences, 14.13. w.r.t. foreign and exotic plants, 14.14, private water holes, etc
- It is recommended that the above provisions be inserted in the 2016 LUM Scheme.
2016 Nkomazi Spatial Development Framework (2017 SDF)
- This draft framework provides guidelines that have to be read with the 2016 LUM Scheme, the 2015 By-Law, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, No. 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA), the Protected Areas Act, 2003 and National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998 (“NEMA”).
- Several definitions appear to be important, e.g. “Consent”, Consent Use”, Conservancy, Conservation Area, “dominant Use”, etc.
MPPOA Voice 30th May
MPPOA and members of the Marloth Park Forum were invited to attend a meeting at Skukuza in May in order to participate in a Focus group concerning Conservation areas open and adjacent to KNP and the KNP Management Plan review process for the next 10 Years.
MPPOA committee member Evan Powell who is also the Chief Honorary Ranger in Marloth Park along with MPPOA member and Chairman of Marlothii Conservancy Derrick Bruins-Lich attended this event, other attendees included representative from Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Balule Nature Reserve, Sabi Sand Wildtuin, Mjejane Game Reserve and other reserves & organizations.
The following feedback was supplied by our representatives
MARLOTH PARK AS A BUFFER ZONE, FEEDBACK FROM SANPARKS MEETING – EVAN POWELL
MPPOA had previously corresponded with SANPARKS to explore what it takes to be included as a Buffer zone which resulted in an invite to the meeting at Skukuza.
The term Buffer Zone is a term that refers to a number of areas, namely Priority Natural Area, Catchment Protection Area, View shed Protection Area, Provincial Nature Reserves and Private Nature Reserves. According to a map incorporated in the current KNP Management Plan, it appears Marloth Park is designated as a Priority Natural Area and a View shed Protection Area (to be confirmed with SANPARKS). We need to investigate what impact that could potentially have and how we can use this moving forward.
All reserves, buffer zone and protected areas are governed by 3 National Environment Management acts: NEMA (National Environment Management Act), NEMBA (Biodiversity) and NEM: PAA (Protected Areas).
One important learning from the meeting and subsequent research is the possibility of being registered as a Protected Area. Marloth Park currently does meet criteria to apply for registration as a Protected Area (which can be done by property owners) and it is strongly advised that we pursue this route - a great deal of research will need to be done and legal advice sought, however the advantages are significant: Protection of property values, retaining unique nature reserve environment, comprehensive Management Plan (among others, Game Management, Biodiversity, Security, Law Enforcement, etc.).
There are a number of standards that must be adhered to before applying, most importantly Access Control and Law Enforcement. It needs to be stressed that unless the community works together to achieve these standards we would fail at the first step.
A start and still a long way to go, further meetings with SANPARKS are planned and additional details on this important development will follow.