Sunday, June 29, 2008

Planned Golf Course Development

- Linda Jaquet -

On the evening of 10 June, Kallie Erasmus, Prince Albert-based environmental law expert, briefed a public meeting on plans to develop a new Karoo golf course, sports facilities and upmarket housing complex on the farm Volstruisvlei. The same project foresees a BEE component providing low to middle-income housing on the existing golf course.

Kallie informed an interested audience of about 60 people at the Golf Club that the developers, Prince Albert Fruits (Pty) Ltd, had employed him to co-ordinate the project through its various phases. The objective of this informal meeting was to provide local residents with information at an early stage of proceedings.

He fielded an array of questions reflecting the concerns of many in the audience about water availability, the development’s impact on the infrastructural capacity of the town, as well as employment opportunities and other benefits. Some were worried that that the proposed new suburb would become yet another privileged, gated community with the sports facilities off-limits to the townsfolk, while others wanted to understand the motive of the developers. The outcome of these concerns would depend on the findings of the legally required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which will be conducted by a firm based in George.

Kallie agreed with Prince Albert resident, Annelie Rabie, that the community should make every effort to remain informed and when the time came, to attend formal public meetings held in accordance with the EIA. If all the many prerequisites can be met, Kallie expected the developers to be granted permission for the project within a year.

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