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In recent years, there have been countless proposals by private landowners, small companies, large corporations, government agencies and parastatals to convert Waterberg land to new and different uses.  

Prospecting, Mining, Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Energy, etc.

Residential development proposals have ranged from as small as 25 housing units on 250 hectares to as large as 850 housing units with hotels and golf courses on about 3,500 hectares.  Mineral prospecting proposals have included applications to prospect for iron ore in the Mokolo Nature Reserve and coal beneath Nylsvley.  Energy proposals have included power transmission lines cutting right through the Waterberg as well as solar power installations.

The Waterberg is vulnerable to some of the most significant and irreversible changes under consideration anywhere in the country.  When we consider each individual proposal, we find ourselves most often concerned about water supply, densities, light, air and noise pollution, roads, sewage and refuse systems, and more. 

We are concerned -

The Waterberg Nature Conservancy tries to keep informed about projects in the region, and be engaged with the environmental consultant, developer, and the national, provincial and local authorities where appropriate.  We seek to be involved in the public processes as an Interested and Affected Party – participating in public meetings and providing written comments to the appropriate authorities about the proposals.  We try to be constructive rather than confrontational, utilising and distributing the Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines that we prepared in January 2007 (available on this website).

Besides specific responses to important matters in particular projects, we raise two issues that apply to virtually every proposal:

Depending on what is being proposed, developers must seek approval for

a) an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA);

b) change in land use through the Development Facilitation Act (DFA);

c) a Water Use Licence; and

d) other requirements according to national law and provincial and local authorities.  

 

We find many of these processes flawed:

 

• in respect of the ways in which developers adhere to the legislation;

• the lack of independence of so-called independent consultants; and

• the lack of capacity, or worse, indifference, of the authorities whose role is to ensure compliance with the legislation.

 

• Proposals that are approved – that receive a positive Record of Decision – include conditions that must be met during construction and ultimately during operation.  The fact is that there is no enforcement of the conditions by public authorities, and consequently little or no compliance by the developer.

 

We are concerned that developers might be tempted by avarice to sidestep or negotiate ways to avoid the letter, let alone the spirit of the law – comprehensive legislation, let it be said, that governs their rights and constraints.

 

The Conservancy understands the rights of land owners to propose new developments, but we are concerned that some proposals by themselves, and certainly all proposals taken together, have the potential to dramatically change the character of the Waterberg.  Here following are some of them, as accurately as the information available to us as of September 2011 allows us to be.  If you have updates or amendments to this information, please let us know.

 

Residential Developments planned and in process:

 

Haaskloof Private Game Lodge, Wildlife/Eco Estate, and Sport & Recreation Resort, about 30 kilometers northeast of Mookgopong.  975 hectares.  Lokisa Environmental Consulting.  Seeking Environmental Authority.  28 dwellings plus accommodation for 40 people.

 

 

Residential Developments on the market or actively marketing and in construction, or with final provincial approvals:

 

Tholo Bush Estate, from Vaalwater on R33 for 50km, left on Witkop road for 10km; 1,921 hectares, 49 stands (on 2500 square metres each) + 1 private lodge; as of September 2010: 8 stands sold, 3 homes built, Klaargesoek Eiendomme BK.

 

Nyathi Eco and Wildlife Estate, Melkrivier Road, about 30km from Vaalwater; 1,595 hectares, 138 x 1 and 2 hectare full title stands, Rock Environmental Consulting; actively being marketed; units under construction; ROD granted by LEDET January 2007; water use licence application October 2008. Uncertain whether conversion from shareblock to full title has yet been achieved.  At least 15 homes already built.

 

Sable Hills Eco Park, bordering Mokolo Dam with 5km of river frontage; 2,200 hectares, 113 stands of 1 hectare each; homes under construction, actively being marketed.

 

Sabili Safari Lodge and AirPark, Melkrivier Road, 12km from Vaalwater; 2,600 hectares; 10 super lodges on 2 hectares each; 126 stands on 1 hectare each; African Game Safaris, Enviro-Solution Systems; DFA and EIA approved; Environmental Authorization granted by LEDET, February 2008.

 

Tau Country Lodge; about 12 km from Vaalwater, south of the Vier-en-twintig-riviere road; 55 residential erven of 1 hectare each; Tekplan Environmental; approved January 2011; now applying for waste management licence.

 

Residential developments awaiting final provincial approvals:

 

Mangweni Private Game Reserve; 40km west of Mookgopong on Marken Road; 2,667 hectares; 120 x 2 hectare stands; Purple Box Trading; NME Environmental Consultants.

 

Thaba Meetse I; Melkrivier Road, 3km from Vaalwater; 670 hectares; 39 units; ROD granted; awaiting provincial proclamation, October 2010.

 

Thaba Meetse II; Melkrivier Rd, 3km from Vaalwater; 1750 hectares.

 

 

Residential development dormant or applications withdrawn:

 

Thaba Lesodi; 13 km on Vrymannsrust Road, 5km from Vaalwater; 3,471 hectares; 800 units plus 60 room hotel; Obsidian SA Ltd.; Triviron; (Obsidian did not purchase after all, weak economy).

 

Nieuw Gelderland; Bakkers Pass Road; 1,800 hectares.

 

Kudu Canyon; adjacent to Mokolo Dam; 180 units on 1 hectare each.

 

Mokolo Wilderness Estate; about 75km past VW toward Lephalale; 894 hectares.

 

Vaalwater Extension; between Spar and town; 19.3 hectares; 8 hectares commercial; 4 hectares residential 30 units/hectare; awaiting availability of services of Eskom and water in Vaalwater; Basic Assessment March 2008.

 

Shamburu Private Reserve; 7km on Beauty Road, Lephalale side; 14,500 hectares.

 

Kololo; 30km on Bakkers Pass Road; 15 hectares.

 

 

Residential / Commercial developments with little current information available:

 

Rock Lodge; Bakkers Pass Road; 23 x 2 hectare stands.

 

Sterkstroom Private Reserve; 28km from Vaalwater on Melkrivier Road; 10 x 2 hectare super lodges; 38 stands; 15 tented camp units.

 

24 Rivers Private Reserve; 21km north of Vaalwater; 24 stands from 4-6 hectares.

 

Tamboti River Private Game Reserve; from Vaalwater road to Lephalale, 25km on the Beauty Road; 1,100 hectares; 38 x 1 hectare stands; Bunker Hills 376 Investments (Pty) Ltd.

 

Vaalwater, on Modimolle Road; next to curio shop; 31 residential and commercial units.

 

Ceasars Bush Palace; about 20km from Vaalwater on Melkrivier Road.

 

Rhenosterpoort 283KQ; Bakkers Pass Road; 250 hectares; approved.

 

 

Prospecting and / or Mining Applications

 

We have been advised of the following applications within the boundary of the proposed expanded Waterberg Biosphere Reserve:

 

Applicant:  Aquila Resources Ltd and Rakana Consolidated Mining (Pty) Ltd

Properties: numerous farms surrounding Thabazimbi, including the following       within the proposed boundary of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve: portions of ; Buffelshoek 446 KQ, Donkerpoort 448 KQ and Randstephne 455 KQ (these three covering the Meletse mountain, on which Aquila has defined a 22 million tonne iron ore resource); Spitskop 346 KQ; Brakvallei 347 KQ; Klipgat 348 KQ; McKip Zyn Rand 438 KQ; Varschvley 440 KQ; Rooywal 441 KQ; Zandrivierspoort 442 KQ;  Waterval 443 KQ; Boschfontein 445 KQ; Zandspruit 449 KQ; Rookpoort 450 KQ; Zandspruit 451 KQ; Rietfontein 460 KQ; Groothoek 461 KQ; Nooitgedacht 463 KQ; Weltevreden 478 KQ; Zandrivierspoort 480 KQ; Rhenosterkloof 483 KQ; and  

Minerals Sought: Iron ore.

Prospecting Rights Application Reference: Prospecting Rights were applied for in April 2007 (no reference number available); apparently, mining rights have been applied for over some of the properties.

Consultants: Not stated

Status: unknown. 

 

Applicant: Salestalk 443 (Pty) Ltd

Properties: Portions of Vygeboomfontein 239 KQ (within the Marakele National Park, a proclaimed Protected Area - in which prospecting is prohibited!); Schoongelegen 200 KQ; Malmaniesrivier 236 KQ; and Koedoespoort 238 KQ (within the Welgevonden Wildlife Scheme).  All in the Lephalale Local Municipality.

Minerals sought: chrome ore and platinum group metals (PGMs)

Prospecting Rights Application Reference: LP30/5/1/1/2/1568PR, of 04.06.2008

Consultants: Not stated

Status: Prospecting rights granted, not yet executed; under appeal.

 

Applicant: South African Steel Company (Pty) Ltd (SASCO)

Properties: Portions of Groothoek 278 KQ; Boschfontein 445 KQ; Buffelshoek 446 KQ; Donkerpoort 448 KQ; Lockshoek 453 KQ; Badenoch 454 KQ; Groenfontein 458 KQ; Zandfontein 478 KQ; Olifantshoek 499 KQ; Donkerhoek 501 KQ; Paardekraal 502 KQ; Weikrans 539 KQ; and Weihoek 540 KQ.  All in the Thabazimbi / Modimolle Local Municipalities.

Minerals Sought: Iron ore.

Prospecting Rights Application Reference: LP30/1/1/2/2128PR, of 13.01.2009

Consultants: Not stated

Contact: Allen Tavakolli of SASCO. Tel: 012 667 6205

Status: unknown.

 

Applicant: African Exploration, Mining and Finance Corporation (Pty) Ltd (AEMFC), the State-owned mining company.

Property: Woodstock 161 KQ, adjacent to Mokolo Nature Reserve, in the Lephalale Local Municipality.

Minerals Sought: Iron ore, manganese, andalusite.

Prospecting Rights Application Reference: LP30/5/1/1/2/ 2672PR, of 15.02.2010

Consultants: Environmental Impact Management Services (Pty) Ltd (EIMS)

Contact: GP Kriel. Tel: 011 789 7170; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Status: unknown

 

Applicant: Coveway Trade and Invest 64 (Pty) Ltd

Property: Portion of Malmaniesrivier 236 KQ, in the Lephalale District Municipality.

Minerals Sought: Chrome ore and platinum group metals (PGMs)

Prospecting Rights Application Reference: LP30/5/1/1/2/2710PR, of 18.03.2010

Consultants: Cabanga Concepts cc

Contact: Ian Troskie Tel: 011 794 7534; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Status: unknown.

 

Applicant:  African Exploration, Mining and Finance Corporation (Pty) Ltd (AEMFC), the State-owned mining company.

Properties: Hartbeestlaagte 525 KR; Boekenhoutfontein 526 KR; Voordeel 559 KR; Deelkraal 561 KR; and Num Num 568 KR, all adjacent to, and immediately upstream of the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, in the Modimolle / Mookgophong Local Municipalities.

Mineral Sought: CoalProspecting Rights Application Reference:  LP30/5/1/1/2/2745PR, of May 2010

Consultants: Digby Wells & Associates

Contact:  Kabelo Mhake. Tel: 011 789 9495; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Applicant: African Exploration, Mining and Finance Corporation (Pty) Ltd (AEMFC), the State-owned mining company.

Properties: Vischgat 520 KR in the Mookgophong Local Municipality; and Arnot 399 KR, Schrikkloof 428 KR, Boekenhoutplaat 436 KR, Moepel 730 KR and Kaallaagte 737 KR in the Modimolle Local Municipality, immediately adjacent to, and north of the Mabalingwe Nature Reserve.

Minerals Sought: Iron ore, zinc, lithium, tin, copper, rare earth minerals, fluorspar.

Prospecting Rights Application Reference:  LP30/5/1/1/2/2688PR, of July 2010

Consultants: Environmental Impact Management Services (Pty) Ltd (EIMS)

Contact: Liam Whitlow. Tel: 011 789 7170; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Status: unknown.

 

Applicant: Afropulse 509 (Pty) Ltd / Manngwe Mining

Properties: Portions of Buffelspoort 459 KQ and Kliprivier 464 KQ in the Modimolle Local Municipality; and Zandfontein 476 KQ in the Thabazimbi Local Municipality.

Minerals Sought: presumably, iron ore

Prospecting Rights Application Reference:  LP30/5/1/1/2/10138PR, of March 2011

Consultants: Not stated

Contact:

Status: unknown

 

Applicant: Afropulse 509 (Pty) Ltd / Manngwe Mining

Properties: Portions of Kwaggasvlagte 317 KQ immediately NE of Thabazimbi and within the proclaimed Marakele National Park, a Protected Area in which prospecting is prohibited.

Minerals Sought: presumably, iron ore

Prospecting Rights Application Reference:  LP30/5/1/1/2/10159PR, of March 2011

Consultants: Not stated

Contact:

Status: unknown

 

 

Other Development Applications

 

Applicant:  ESKOM

Nature of project: construction of power lines from new substation to be built at Bulge River NW of Vaalwater to existing pump station at Toulon on Mogol Dam; and from Bulge River to new substation under construction at Dorset, all in the Lephalale Local Municipality.

Application Details: Application is for Environmental authorisation from the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA); Interested and Affected Parties were advised in November 2010/February 2011.

Consultants: Texture Environmental Consultants

Contact: Ria Pretorius Tel: 012 362 7179; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Status: Several constructive workshops were held with affected parties and compromise routes are being finalised for final consideration.

 

Applicant: Thupela Energy (Pty) Ltd

Nature of Project: Construction of 5MW solar photovoltaic electricity generation plant on Portion 2 of the farm Goedgevonden 104 KR, 7km N of Twenty-Four Rivers in the Modimolle Local Municipality.

Application Details: Application is for Environmental authorisation from the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA); Interested and Affected Parties were advised in November 2010/February 2011.

Consultants: Savannah Environmental (Pty) Ltd; and Batho Earth

Contacts: Ingrid Snyman or Diana Verster. Tel: 082 779 2750; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Status: Public consultation process complete; EIA application submitted, response awaited.

 

Applicant: Jacaranda Energy

Nature of Project: Construction of 30MW  solar photovoltaic electricity generation plant on Portion 17 of the farm Wolvefontein 149 KR, adjacent to existing Eskom sub-station at the Vrymansrus turn-off about 10km E of Vaalwater, in the Modimolle Local Municipality.

Application Details: The applicant will require authorisation from the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA); Interested and Affected Parties were advised in .....

Consultants: AGES.......

 

Applicant: Delta Solar

Nature of Project:

Application Details:

Consultants: