Famous Mtentu River damaged by up-stream sand from Sanral’s N2 mega-bridge project
By Amadiba Crisis Committee | Press Release | 14 June 2018
At a visit in Jama village two weeks ago, the problem of a more than one meter shallower Mtentu river estuary got its explanation. Sand from the access roads that prepare construction of the R1.8bn Mtentu mega-bridge is piling up in the estuary.
“The Mtentu River estuary is a mess”, says a resident in Mtentu coastal village [name protected]. “Last year you had to swim over the river when low tide. Today you can walk across easily. Canoes are not any longer needed in some places. You can walk in the water”.
In October, the famous King Fish did not play in the estuary as it usually does.
10 km inland, Sanral’s contractor has left piles of sand from the access road close to the high river gorge, on both sides. Heavy rains and wind transport the sand and gravel down to the river. The sand then floats down to the estuary.
Additional excess sand continues to be created when the access road is graded. The sand lands in the ditches on the sides. Rain then transports the sand down to the river.
The up to 3 meter long King Fish has chosen the Mtentu River for a mysterious playing every year. This happens nowhere else in the world. The spectacle in the Mtentu River estuary is a unique tourist attraction. It is also an object of a scientific project that involves residents.
Eco-tourism is a major source of income to the Mtentu village. Tourists can fish King Fish on a catch and release basis. The estuary is also the mating pace for all kinds of fish and sea creatures.
The Department of Environment should please tell us, how they could approve this project so close to the coast, which is the most sensitive bio-diversity area.
The Department of Environmental Affairs must start to work. Do not focus on things like Sanral not paying the ‘Biodiversity Offset Agreement’. If Sanral is not paying is one thing, but destruction of the Mtentu estuary cannot be ‘offset’ with money.
ACC has the Draft Audit of the construction of the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road. We attach it. There are no Operational Environmental Management Plans made by Sanral. The ‘independent consultant’ says that the Oper EMPs are not needed yet, because (we quote) the “operation phase is still to come”. This must be a juridical joke. The N2 ‘operation phase’ has indeed since long started by us. The destruction of environment must stop.
3 min movie: King Fish in Mtentu River
Amadiba Crisis Committee:
Spokesperson: Nonhle Mbuthuma 0763592982; Chair: Sbusiso Mqadi 0634964074
The case against the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road “Green Field” section: Cormac Cullinan; 0829299055 (Cormac Cullinan and Associates); Khanyayo Community demands on Sanral: Thami Malusi 073 632 8236 ((Richard Spoor Inc). For the case against “Xolobeni Mining Project”: Attorneys Henk Smith 0832661770 (Henk Smith & Associates), Wilmien Wicomb 078 9208366 (Legal Resources Centre) and Johan Lorenzen 079 654 5038 (Richard Spoor Inc.).