THE PROPOSED INTEGRATED RAPID TRANSPORT (IRT) SYSTEM ALONG OTTERY ROAD FROM STRANDFONTEIN ROAD TO KROMBOOM PARKWAY (M5)
The Information Sheet is a summary of the Basic Assessment Report and is available at the hyperlink.
The City of Cape Town, the proponent, wishes to implement the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system across Cape Town in several phases. This public transport system aims to provide safe, reliable, accessible, and affordable transport in Cape Town. The ‘MyCiTi’ Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) forms part of the IRT system.
The proposal for which this Basic Assessment environmental process is being conducted entails the establishment of the IRT System along Ottery Road between Strandfontein Road and Kromboom Parkway (M5). The roadway will be widened to accommodate additional MyCiti lanes.
The proposed route along Ottery Road necessitates the existing roadway be widened to make spatial provision for additional lanes. The additional lanes will be for the MyCiTi buses between the M5 and Strandfontein Road, and spatial provision will be made, in addition to the BRT lanes, for non-motorised transport (NMT) lanes and bus stations.
It is proposed that, on average, an additional two-lanes (3.5 m wide lanes) be added to the existing road to accommodate bi-directional MyCiTi bus lanes. Several bus stations are proposed as part of the IRT implementation. Sidewalks of approximately three metres wide will be retained where possible and new sidewalks will be constructed where required.
The extent of road widening to be undertaken has been increased in certain sections of the road since the BAR was distributed for public comment in November 2020. The increase in widening is inter alia to accommodate additional lanes, to provide increased non-motorised transport facilities and to include features such as a bus embayment. For a full list of the additional widening proposed, please see Section B of this BAR. Nevertheless, the intention of the proponent remains to minimise the extent of the widening where it is in proximity to residential dwellings. As such, the widening along Ottery Road has been informed by the extent to which the widening would impact on adjacent properties and the minimisation of these impacts.
Ottery Road has been screened for any potential environmental sensitivities that would likely be impacted upon by the proposal. Spatial provision for the IRT system along Ottery Road would result in wetlands being partially infilled. Where encroachment on adjacent properties will occur, landowners will be contacted by the applicant, the City of Cape Town. Since the proposed road widening has been increased, the road edge will encroach into the Youngsfield Military Base by approximately 18m to 26m between the M5 and Torrens Road. The widening of Ottery Road between Ferness and Humby Road will affect the Engen Service Station and the car service shop to the east of the Engen.
Several options were considered in the determination of the proposed route alignment of the IRT System along Ottery Road. Five options were investigated and four out of the five options were found to be unfeasible due to the extent of properties that would need to be acquired as well as the increase in footprint as a result of these options.
The options considered were in relation to the development of Signalised Full Interchanges (SFI). The intention of these options was to provide for safe right-turn access onto Ottery Road which would be feasible for bus operations and vehicle access. The options investigated are further described in Point 1.3 of Section H of the Basic Assessment Report.
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. These are:
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.
DESIGN AND PLANNING
- Loss of temporary and seasonal wetland edges of Bamboesvlei
- Loss of temporary and seasonal wetlands on Erf 1028Downstream contamination of Ramsar wetlands
- Loss of a section of the artificial stormwater channel on Erf 1028
- Extension of culverts over the Big Lotus River and Woodlands Canal (north and South of new Ottery road)
- Impact on indigenous vegetation along the route
- Potential encroachment on private property adjacent to the road widening
- Reduced traffic congestion with an associated reduction in travel time
- Provision of safe and efficient public transport
- Degradation of adjacent wetlands as a result of physical disturbance
- Pollution of wetlands as a result of sewage line impacts
- Faunal mortalities
- Downstream contamination of Ramsar wetlands
- Disturbance of intact natural vegetation
Socio-economic impacts (temporary impacts)
- Noise impacts
- Dust impacts
- Vibration impacts
- Visual Impact
- Waste Management Impacts
- Traffic-related impacts during the construction phase
- Inability to access private property
- Employment opportunities in the construction phase
- Improved road infrastructure and reliable public transport
- Reduction in reliance on private vehicles due to the new public transport system
- Introduction of an efficient and safe public transport system
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Layout Alternative 1 which entails widening of Ottery Road between Kromboom Parkway and Strandfontein Road and a staggered Ferness and Crescent Road option is the best practicable option. The proposed activity is anticipated to make a positive contribution towards the socio-economic development in Ottery.
While negative impacts have been identified in this Basic Assessment Report, they can be mitigated provided that the specific mitigation measures are applied effectively. Authorisation for the proposed Integrated Rapid Transport system along Ottery Road between Kromboom Parkway and Strandfontein Road is thus recommended in terms of the EIA Regulations of 2014, as amended, promulgated under NEMA (107 of 1998). Layout Alternative 1 has been identified as the preferred alternative on the condition that all mitigation measures are adhered to by the applicant.
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 was undertaken in terms of Section 41 of 2014, NEMA: EIA Regulations, as amended. Below is an outline of what was undertaken:
The Basic Assessment Report was made available to the broader public, identified Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs) and relevant Organs of State for their perusal and comment from 17 November 2020 to 08 January 2021 by the following means:
- The draft BAR was distributed to the relevant Organs of State via email (A WeTransfer link as utilised for larger files)
- The information sheet (summary of the draft BAR) was distributed to identified I&APs via email
- The Information Sheet was delivered to the following parties:
- Occupiers directly adjacent to the site where the listed activity will occur
- A register waskept of the distribution of the information sheet to Interested and Affected Parties
- An electronic copy of the draft BAR was placed on The Environmental Partnership’s website (www.enviropart.co.za)
- Media notice was published in the local newspaper, the People’s Post (Grassy Park) on 10 November 2020
- Site notices was placed in conspicuous locations around the site
To ensure that reasonable opportunity was provided for public participation during the COVID-19 pandemic the following methods were utilised to give notice to potential I&APs:
- An opportunity to comment via WhatsApp Messaging Service was availed as an additional method of communication.
All comments and concerns raised by I&APs in the course of this commenting period were addressed by the EAP and project team as shown in Appendix K: PPP Report.
This Basic Assessment Report has been revised and is being made available for a second 30-day commenting period to the registered I&APs and relevant Organs of State for their perusal and comment. The commenting period commences on 29 August 2021 and closes on 01 October 2021.
At the end of the commenting period, all comments will be captured and addressed and included in a finalised Basic Assessment Report which will be submitted to the competent authority, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning for decision.
Comments on this report may be submitted on or before 29 September 2021 to:
The Environmental Partnership
P O Box 945, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 422 0999; Fax: 021 422 0998
WhatsApp number: 068 493 5890