Yesterday, Austrian building company Strabag told Austrian media that they pulled out on Wednesday from Sanral’s mega-bridge project at Mtentu river. The project has been blocked by the Jama community in inland Amadiba since 22 October.
Strabag’s Joint Venture with Aveng Grinaker is dead. We don’t know if there now will be a new ‘tender process’ of three months.
It doesn’t matter. Today our lawyers have sent Sanral a letter: Sanral must stop all works along the whole ‘Green Field’ section of the N2 Toll Road right now. Sanral must start again a proper consultation process with all rural communities disturbed by the N2 project.
The new process should result in a Resettlement Plan agreed with affected communities, not only with chiefs who are paid money to betray the people.
- Sanral shall now stop all works along the ‘Green Field’ section.
Sanral shall commit in writing that they intend to make the required Resettlement Plan approved by all those affected.
If Sanral refuses, our lawyers will on 2 March report Sanral for this breach of its Environmental Authorisation.
If Sanral agrees with a court order to move the N2 Toll Road from the Amadiba coast, our community will not proceed.
Two times since September, ACC has asked Sanral to move the road from our coast. The N2 will split Mdatya and Sigidi villages in two parts. It will take our land for a highway we don’t want or need. It will destroy our eco-tourism projects.
We want decent local roads. The close to cost N2 route only serves as support for Mr Mantashe’s and MRC’s open cast mining disaster on the Wild Coast.
Sanral has created a mess everywhere. As ACC, we have pointed this out to Sanral several times. We have told their representatives what will happen. Sanral’s ruthless consultants and employees make promises Sanral cannot keep, to take the land needed for their Toll Road. We have told them: “Move the N2 to those who want it. But if you continue like this, nobody will want it.”
Even during this blockade in Jama, Sanral’s representatives lied at meetings. They told people that it is not decided where the 80m wide and fenced N2 will pass. But the exact route with GPS coordinates was published in 2004 and again in December 2016 in ‘Government Gazette’.
The People Shall Govern has been the slogan of ANC. But the corruption and the contempt of our communities are so deep. The true slogan of our own government is: “Keep people uninformed, so that we can govern as we like, and deprive the people of their rights before they know what hit them”.
We truly hope that Sanral sees this crisis as an opportunity for change.
The Amadiba Crisis Committee stands in solidarity with the Jama community’s demands for local jobs and local contracts. Hopefully, Sanral do not disrespect them again.
From lawyers’ letter: “SANRAL’s blatant refusal to comply with its own environmental authorisation is stunning. It is, in fact, a criminal offence. Section 49 of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 provides that any person who fails to comply with an environmental authorisation is guilty of an offence and therefore liable to a fine not exceeding R10 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or to both.”
Interview with ACC spokesperson Nonhle Mbuthuma: