GREYTON COMMONAGE SELL-OFF [Report 3 of 7]
The project as it has been presented, creates a number of environmental and social impacts. These will be assessed in the EIA process, which will also examine and compare any alternative land uses, activities etc as well as the No-Go alternative that maintains the site in its current state. The costs to the Consortium of Fruit Farmers will be largely dependent on how thorough the presentations of the alternatives are and how relevant their preferred option is to the local communities.
SIZE AND SOURCE OF LABOUR REQUIREMENTS
- There seems to be considerable confusion with the anticipated number of employees for this business, whether the work force will be built up gradually, and whether they will be employed permanently on this farm – the range is from 100-180 permanent workers;
- The number of permanent job opportunities seems considerably exaggerated – what is the typical number of permanent workers on similar fruit farms?
- It is not clear how to monitor and control the selection of labour from only specified towns, and in particular, why Riviersonderend should be specified by TWKM. Hemel en Aarde, also Vyeboom and Grabouw are labour sources stated by the Greyton Council;
- The plan to build workers houses, in addition to lodging for the seasonal workers, on the farm is not compatible with the preferred employment of local people – how many houses are being considered?
- The implications of these figures are that the project is planned to employ a significant number of non-locals, for both permanent and seasonal jobs. This seems to be in conflict with the BBBEE ethos, and certainly is not favourable to local people;
- Bringing workers into the Ward 2 area, when there is already low employment here, may swing positive social impacts towards significant negative ones.
TRAFFIC THROUGH GREYTON
A traffic impact assessment done for the EIA may reveal a seasonal problem with fruit being trucked to the packing sheds elsewhere (dust, noise, road wear, safety aspects). This may be significant enough, especially to the tourism industry, to require imposing load restrictions in Greyton. Eventually, there may be sufficient need to justify a by-pass.
LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
The prospectus gives no indication of the likely long-term population on the farm, and therefore the requirements for electricity, domestic water, sewage and waste removal.
Much of the property is subject to flooding from the Gobos and the Sonderend rivers. Failure of the Theewaterskloof dam will cause predicted flood levels covering of up to an estimated 50% of the property.
Air pollution in Greyton, resulting from much closer proximity, may lead to an increase in respiratory problems caused by the use of crop spraying.
Most of the area consists of Central Rûens Shale Renosterveld, classified as Critically Endangered. Albeit that the area has been partially transformed by alien vegetation, as well as unregulated grazing.
ARCHITECTURAL AND AESTHETIC IMPACTS
A Site Development Plan will presumably be required as part of the EIA.
We will keep you informed.
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