Protesters against the construction of a new toll gate plaza on Chapman’s Peak have revved up their efforts in delaying building on site with various demonstrations including handcuffing themselves to the scaffolding at construction points – and in an extreme case, saw a woman entering into a 15-day hunger strike.
The revamping of the toll to be built along the iconic route has sparked massive outrage amongst environmentalists who are livid about the damage the construction will cause to the natural environment. They also view it as a waste of valuable tax-payers money.
Transport and Public Works MEC, Robin Carlisle decided to make the official design plans for the new toll gate available to the public to allay the rumours from the media of luxury offices and apartments that were allegedly going to be built. “The building was designed to be as functional, efficient and as unobtrusive as possible, while providing dignified and secure working conditions for staff,” saidCarlisle. “It will replace the current unsafe and uncomfortable eyesore.”
The R54-million project’s main opposition comes from the Hout Bay Residents Association whose lawyers have recently filed a triple broadside to stop construction from going ahead. People feel that something adequate could be built for far less money and that the bulk of the budget allocated for this project could be used on more pressing social issues such as education and poverty.
The latest twist in the toll saga came when lawyers of the Residents Association delivered a letter toCarlisle’s office, informing them that part of the land set aside for construction was under a title deed which had restrictions on it. This means that the land in question can only be used by SA National Parks for conservation as stated in the Protected Areas Act.
The 9km route also known as ‘Chappies’, winds its way from Noordhoek to Hout Bay and consists of 114 bends and majestic 180-degree views of the Atlantic seaboard. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike with plenty of motorists, cyclists, hikers and bikers visiting it annually.
The construction company tasked with building the toll gate commented that they were going to proceed with construction until further notice from the Provincial Government.
What do you think? Should a new toll gate be built on Chapman’s Peak? Check out the images of the toll on www.westerncape.gov.za and share your views on the topic with us.
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