Many of our ratepayers are probably wondering what has transpired with regard to this project.
The current legal position relating to the proposed garage is: The applicant has to jump through 5 hoops.
- As the garage is to be situated on the R72, which is a National Road, the applicant needs SANRAL approval. He obtained it. We have strenuously objected to this approval, pointing out that it was based on a hopelessly out of date Traffic Impact Assessment (“TIA”), which drew ridiculously wrong conclusions. SANRAL has commissioned a new TIA, which has been delayed by Covid. We have furnished accident statistics around the intersection of the R72 and the Kenton entrance to the Traffic Engineer who has been commissioned to do the TIA. He is due to visit Kenton to do the assessment in the near future, and we will meet with him. We hope that his TIA will at least result in extensive traffic calming measures at the Kenton entrance if not result in the garage being refused.
- SANRAL required the erven to be subdivided and reconsolidated to align the egress from the garage with Oettle Street. We objected, but it was approved by Ndlambe, subject to a new TIA being conducted and approved by SANRAL. We have lodged an appeal, which we hope will be heard soon. Among our numerous grounds of appeal, we do not believe that Ndlambe has the power, in law, to delegate the decision to SANRAL.
- The Applicant had to do an Environmental Impact Assessment to obtain Environmental Approval. That was objected to in 2015 by KOSRA. The Approval was granted in November 2015 and was valid for 2 years. It was extended for 2 years until November 2019. KOSRA has written repeated letters to the Department of Environment to get confirmation that it was not again extended. So far, we have elicited no reply, despite repeated reminders. We are pursuing this
- The Applicant will have to get a site development plan approved by Ndlambe. When we are notified of this we will again object.
- The applicant needs licences from the Department of Energy to open and operate a new garage. In spite of strenuous and cogent objections by Eugene de Witt, the owner of Kenton Garage in early 2019, the licences were granted. As far as we can ascertain, no objection was lodged by KOSRA in early 2019. Mr de Witt has lodged an appeal, and KOSRA has sent a letter to the Department of Energy supporting the appeal.
So, in spite of strenuous and cogent objections to all 4 applications so far, various departments have nevertheless granted them and granted extensions. Is a pattern emerging?
We fear that this one is going to end up in court.