Chappies protesters on the march again, Hout Bay

Taken from the CAPE TIMES/Barbara Maregele:

ABOUT 100 protesters have braved cold and rain to hand a memorandum to representatives of the provincial authorities, SANParks and Murray and Roberts, demanding answers and documents about the proposed Chapman’s Peak toll plaza and office block.

The crowd booed and some chanted “We want answers” as members of the Protect Chapman’s Peak Movement handed the memorandum to Wally Silbernagl, acting director of road design for the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works and Entilini director Robert Pomario, who accepted the memo on behalf of Murray and Roberts, yesterday.

Protesters stood outside the Entilini offices in Hout Bay and held up posters that said: “We demand answers, Helen, what are you hiding?” and “Entilini guilty of crimes against the environment.”

Organiser Bronwen Lankers-Byrne said: “Why can’t the government build houses and schools instead of a R54 million toll plaza we don’t need? This is legally and morally wrong. We can’t allow our mountain to be defaced.

“I strongly believe we have a good case this time round. Every bid we make and protest we participate in will have an effect on the end result. We still have a chance to stop this.”

Philip Bam, chairman of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, said people across the city needed to unite against the building plans.

“We stand to protect all the beautiful things in nature given to us. People who ask why we are against it need to know it is the right thing to do. This is an issue for all Capetonians.”

The memo demanded, among other things:

l Documents to show Entilini was financially sustainable and how the province would get back the R25m it was paying towards the toll plaza and office block.

l Details of the rent Entilini was paying in Hout Bay and of the amount by which the provincial government subsidised it.

l An immediate halt to excavation and construction.

l The removal of the toll booms and containers now in place.

l Details of the volume of traffic on Chapman’s Peak Drive.

l Free access to picnic sites and hiking trials in perpetuity.

The Protect Chapman’s Peak Movement said the march was part of a campaign to increase awareness before the Western Cape High Court hears next Monday its application for an order halting construction. If the application is granted, the movement is to go to court to try to prove that the proposed buildings would be unlawful. It says an automatic toll booth would adequate, while the toll office block would be built on protected land in the Table Mountain National Park.

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