THE REALITY OF WARD 2
The ward originally comprised Greater Greyton (Heuwelkroon & Greyton), Farm 39, which is the old Moravian Church property and farmland, comprising the villages of Genadendal, Boschmansklooof, Voorstekraal, and Bereaville (totalling 4773 ha). Over the last few years, the area of Ward 2 has been increased thrice and now also includes much of the farmland along the R406 towards the N2. The population based on the 2011 Census is said to be about 9000, although local estimates suggest over 17,000 people.
All of Ward 2 is not only affected by what happens in the Theewaterskloof municipal area, but also beyond in the rest of the Overberg. Agriculture is the main contributor to the local GDP; with tourism having the greatest growth potential. Significant pollution of the Riviersonderend River from inadequate capacity and treatment of sewage at the facilities in Greyton and Genadendal will determine the future of the downstream fruit farms, now under severe threat of loosing their export markets, which would significantly affect the local economy and employment.
Local elections are due this year, and there is no way of anticipating the outcome. Most of the Directors of TWKM are due to retire. It is essential that plans for new projects in Ward 2 must be agreed and initiated before any adverse political and other changes put these at risk.
The immediate future of Farm 39 is still uncertain, pending agreement with the Department of Land Affairs. The community is likely to become a Communal Property Association, which will allow them to retain control and ownership of all their land. One of their development projects is to enlarge the waste recycling facility, making it fully sustainable. After the years of conflict between the Transformation Committee (TC) and TWKM, which has undoubtedly affected Greyton, it is clear that a new and fully cooperative approach has been adopted, which will bind together the mutual aspirations and all the communities of Ward 2 and the municipality.
Several joint projects have been planned between the TC and W2F, of which the first was the new fencing of the R406 to reduce the hazards of the roaming Farm Animals. It has been agreed that the waste project is the second joint project, to be followed by the sewage project, and thereafter as our joint needs dictate.
THE WASTE PLAN
The 2 old waste dumps in Greyton and Genadendal have already been licensed to close down and be rehabilitated over the next 3 years. At the moment, the Greyton waste, except for the garden material, is disposed of at the Genadendal site; this includes the recyclables collected by Boetie Bantam. An estimated daily average of 10 tons is collected in Ward 2; this is about 45 cubic metres of waste (a large skip contains 30 cubic metres.)
The municipal plan is that all TWKM waste, that cannot be reused or recycled, will be transported 64 km to the Overstrand District Municipal landfill site at Karwyderskraal, near Hermanus. It was always understood that there would be a waste facility at Genadendal, which would include sorting and recycling functions, whilst a much smaller drop-off would be constructed in Greyton – the garden waste function would remain. TWKM would implement a 2-bag system and motivate sorting of recyclables at source.
CHANGE OF PLANS
Late last year TWKM found additional funds (about R2 million) that was made available to allow the construction of a drop-off, which would be the first phase of a full sorting and recycling waste facility to cater for all of Ward 2, which would be located at the entrance to Greyton. It became clear that the environmental impacts and consequential risks to tourism were substantial, there was no significant community support, and Boetie Bantam’s recycling business in Genadendal was under threat.
This money would only cover the construction of a drop-off facility (Phase 1), its approval had to be urgently motivated and specific expenditure identified and confirmed within a few weeks, otherwise it could be diverted to another project in another ward. However further budget would have to be sought for the phases 2 & 3 which have not yet even been fully specified.
It was indicated that TWKM could have major difficulties in allocating municipal funds for facilities to be constructed on “non-municipal” land in Genadendal. Therefore, three additional sites were identified in Greyton each with its own problems:
- Site B: north of Park Street, opposite the Old Moravian church, on the edge of a potential housing development area, with access problems for large vehicles from Main Road either up Uitkyk Street or through part of Heuwelkroon and over the Scholtz River, which is highly vulnerable to severe damage from flooding.
- Site C: on the slope below the Eskom substation, too far from the main road out of Greyton and too near to a perennial watercourse and wetland, also in an area designated for housing.
- Site D: Further, down the road to the old dump, over a hazardous bridge that is often flooded, too close to and in full sight of the Country Village, also too near potential future housing land.
The NEM: Waste Act (No 59 of 2008) includes a list of activities that require a basic environment assessment as part of a waste management licence application in terms of Notice 921 (29 November 2013):
- The sorting, bailing, chipping etc of general waste at a facility with an operational area in excess of 1000 m²;
- The recycling of general waste at a facility with an operational area in excess of 500 m²;
- The disposal of general waste to land covering an area more than 50 m² but less than 200 m², and with a total capacity not exceeding 25,000 tons;
- The construction of a facility for any of the above activities;
- The expansion of an existing facility for any of the above activities.
The proposed transfer and recycling facility proposed by TWKM in Greyton was designed such that it would not quite trigger the need for a license. However, it is considered far too limited in capacity and space to accommodate the waste requirements for Ward 2, which would mean that it would have to be expanded later, thus requiring a very costly environmental assessment and license application.
However, construction of a pilot facility may permit exemption from a license, and provide alternative funding sources.
The current By-law may need revising to better control fly-tipping and littering with seizure of any vehicle involved in illegal dumping, only released on payment of a substantial fine.
Confirmation by the Transformation Committee that they and the communities of Farm 39 agreed with the W2F proposal to go ahead in principle with the sorting, recycling and transfer station for Ward 2 on Genadendal land;
- Confirmation that TWKM will allocate the R 2 million of municipal funds for a drop-off facility just off the R406 near the old bus depot in Genadendal;
- Formation of a team from Ward 2 and TWKM to jointly specify and plan the whole waste management facility, and to complete the specifications and funding requirements for the IDP;
- Agreement with TWKM and Greyton Transition Town (GTT) on the development of facilities in Greyton and Genadendal for the collection, treatment and re-use of garden waste (Composting plant);
- Agreement with TWKM & TC on the designation of suitable disposal sites for builders’ rubble.
LONGER TERM PLANS
- Development of plans to monitor and assess the performance of the Ward 2 sorting and recycling operations, in order to determine the most effective and cost efficient methodology to be implemented for the rest of TWKM. This would inform revision of the 2014 draft TWKM Integrated Waste Management Plan.
- Research into ‘best practice’ used by other municipalities (eg Overstrand, Paarl) and other countries (existing connections with UK and Sweden).
- Coordination of above plans with the requirements for closure and rehabilitation of the Genadendal and Greyton dumps.
- Finalisation of the visionary concepts to enhance the visual impact of the Genadendal waste site and the approach to Greyton.
The Ward 2 Forum Team