Link to Summary of Report (low data usage to download): Information sheet November 2020
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The City of Cape Town, the proponent, is the holder of an environmental authorisation for an integrated development on Erven 29654 (formerly Portion 2 of the remainder of Farm No. 451 and incorporating a Portion of Erf 1892) in Bardale, Blue Downs. The site is bound to the north by Fountain Village, to the west by Faure Klipfontein Road, and to the east by the Blue Downs Municipal Swimming Pool grounds (Please see Appendix A1: Locality Map).
The proponent has an approved Environmental Authorisation (EA) which was issued on
16 November 2010 (Ref. No. E12/2/3/1-A4/53-0988/10), amended on 30 October 2013 (Ref. No. 16/3/1/5/A4/5/1026/13), 03 November 2015 (Ref. No. 16/3/3/5/A4/5/3017/15) as well as on
22 July 2020 (Ref. No. 16/3/3/5/A4/5/3019/20). See Appendix E3: Existing approval(s) – Environmental Authorisations)
The EA authorises the construction of single residential units, incremental houses, community facilities, public open spaces and two retention ponds. The single residential units would comprise of the Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing typologies and the incremental housing typology facilitates upgrading housing from an informal settlement to a formal settlement. The affordable housing development on Erven 29654, herein referred to as ‘the site’, will be developed to make provision for adequate facilities and amenities to promote a conducive living environment and to enhance the lifestyle of the residents.
There are two wetlands located on the site, one in the northern portion of the site and the other towards the southern portion. Both wetlands are fed by groundwater and are heavily degraded due to activities such as dumping, excavation, grazing and loss of almost all indigenous vegetation (Please see Appendix A2: Wetland sensitivity map).
At the time of the previous study, the identification of the two wetlands was not included in the study. As such, a wetland specialist was not commissioned to assess the wetlands on this site and the associated listed activity was not included in the application form to the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning and therefore has not been authorised.
This application is for the infilling or depositing of any material greater than 10 cubic metres into the two aforementioned wetlands which triggers Activity 19 of Listing Notice (GNR No. 327 of 2017) of the National Environmental Management: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, as amended.
The proponent aims to develop an integrated development comprising of a variety of housing topologies. This includes the construction of 691 residential units, to meet the pressing need for low-cost housing in Blue Downs. The residential units will comprise of a variety of Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing typologies, whose aims are to assist in eradicating informal settlements while also contribute to poverty alleviation. The development will occur on Erf 29654 with a portion of the property set aside for community facilities, public open space and two stormwater retention ponds located adjacent to the Faure-Klipfontein Road.
The proposed development of the residential housing on Erf 29654 will comprise of the following:
- 691 residential units:
- 153 single residential Breaking New Ground (BNG)
- 638 Incremental houses
- Community facilities:
- 1 creche site
- 1 church site
- 2 Public Open Space erven
- 1 erf for retention ponds
- 1 Railway reserve
- Roads and bulk services
The EIA Regulations of 2014, as amended, require reasonable alternatives to the activity to be identified and assessed. Since the proposed development has already been subjected to an EIA process, there will be no alternatives to the layout. The layout has been approved and the site has been appropriately rezoned. The freshwater specialist recommends new stormwater management interventions to prevent impacts to the downstream (Kuils River) water resource due to the loss of two seasonal wetlands on-site.
The two alternatives to be discussed in this Basic Assessment Report are Alternative 1 which entails the infilling of the two seasonal wetlands on the site and Alternative 2 which is the no-go alternative.
The 2014 NEMA Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations of 2014, as amended, apply to the proposed development and necessitate a Basic Assessment Process. The proposed development includes activities listed in GN983 of the 2014 EIA Regulations, as amended. This is:
Listing Notice 1 (GN983 of 2014, as amended)
The infilling or depositing of any material of more than 10 cubic metres into, or the dredging, excavation, removal or moving of soil, sand, shells, shell grit, pebbles or rock of more than 10 cubic metres from a watercourse.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the findings of the above-summarised impact assessment, Layout Alternative 1 has been identified as the preferred alternative. The impacts of Alternative 2, the No-Go Option, do not differ significantly from Alternative 1 given that the continuation of the status quo will result in further degradation of the wetlands on the site. Alternative 1 will allow for the implementation of the approved development on the site and will incorporate the stormwater management interventions recommended by the freshwater specialist. This will allow the functional value of the two wetlands to continue.
Public participation is a key component of the environmental assessment process as it introduces the proposed activity to the public and provides an opportunity for comments and concerns to be raised. Public participation is being undertaken in terms of Section 41 of the 2014, NEMA: EIA Regulations, as amended. Below is an outline of what will be undertaken:
The draft Basic Assessment Report will be made available to the broader public identified Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) and relevant Organs of State for their perusal and comment from
13 November 2020 to 14 December 2020 by the following means:
The draft BAR will be distributed to the relevant Organs of State via email (A web-based link will be utilised for larger files)
- The information sheet (summary of the draft BAR) will be distributed to identified I&APs via email
- The Information Sheet will be delivered to the following parties:
- Key I&APs (i.e. Ward Councillor and Ratepayers Association)
- A register will be kept of the distribution of the information sheet to the councillor and other identified parties
- An electronic copy of the draft BAR will be placed on The Environmental Partnership’s website (www.enviropart.co.za)
- A media notice will be published in the local newspaper, the TygerBurger (Blue Downs)
- Site notices will be placed in conspicuous locations around the site
To ensure that reasonable opportunity is provided for public participation during the COVID-19 pandemic the following additional method will be utilised for interested members of the public.
- An opportunity to comment via WhatsApp Messaging Service will be availed as an additional method of communication
Details relating to the public participation process will be documented in a Public Participation Process Report. Comments received on the draft BAR will be captured in a Comments and Response Table and responses will be provided by the EAP and project team.
This Basic Assessment Report is being made available for a commenting period from
13 November to 14 December 2020. At the end of the commenting period, all comments will be captured and addressed and included in a revised Basic Assessment Report which will be made available to the registered public for a second round of comment. Thereafter it will be submitted to the competent authority, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning for the environmental decision.
Comments on this report may be submitted on or before 14 December 2020 to:
The Environmental Partnership
P O Box 945, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 422 0999; Fax: 021 422 0998
WhatsApp number: 060 761 5729
Basic Assessment Report