‘African Island’ resort for Schoemansville

The management of the Schoemansville Resort, which are involved in the rehabilitation of troubled teenagers, were only made aware of the Department’s intentions when two entrepreneurs turned up at the resort to claim the parts of the foreshore which have been allocated to them by Mrs Joey van Rooyen of the Department  of Water and Sanitation. According to the manager of the resort, Mrs van Rooyen told them that if they were not prepared to share that part of the foreshore, their lease, which was up for renewal, could be in jeopardy. Mrs Van Rooyen apparently also told them that the allocation of that part of the foreshore for the recreational development was necessitated by workers of the DWS striking in support of a demand for “ready access” to Hartbeespoort Dam.

According to another source, Mrs Van Rooyen also confirmed that the premises of the Oewerklub was divided and that they were only waiting for the report of an evaluator to effect the division.

The public had no access to the process in terms of which the allocation was made. No open tenders were invited and no environmental, or social, impact study has been conducted. The allocated part of the foreshore is right in the centre of Schoemansville and is feared that this development would have a devastating effect on property values, as was demonstrated by the reaction to the unbridled promotion of tourism at the expense of residents some years ago. As it is, the Oewerklub and the Hartbeespoort  Snake and Animal Park, amongst others, are involved in a court action against the DWS and others because of the State’s failure to register and acknowledge the rights and servitudes of property owners on the shores of Hartbeespoort Dam.  The department seems to ignore the legal ramifications of the issue and just plods along without any public participation or open tender process.

As the issue affects parties other than those involved in the present litigation, separate steps will have to be taken against DWS. As no EIA has been done to determine the effect on the already stressed birdlife at the dam, Birdlife Harties has decided to join the protest against DWS’s action on the foreshore, as did the Bravo November neighbourhood watch network. The Schoemansville Home Owners Association is also considering joining the action. As none of these bodies are financially very strong, the support of as many residents as possible will be needed for any future action.

Anybody interested in pledging their support, either in kind or in financing any future legal action, can contact Kormorant at [email protected].


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