Riebeek West continues fight over plant, South Africa

Riebeek West continues fight over plant, South Africa
Published: 20 July 2009

Environmentalists in Riebeek West feel their concerns about a proposed cement factory expansion in the town may not be taken seriously when the province studies a final report on the project.

The Riebeek Valley Environmental Forum is vigorously opposed to the plan.

The forum has urged affected parties to e-mail the Department of Environmental Affairs and Planning (Deap), saying the environmental impact report (EIR) would not give its concerns “due weight”.

The EIR process has been marked by objections from community members, who say an expansion of the Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) plant would quadruple heavy traffic through the picturesque Riebeek Valley.

In the past three years the community has also voiced its concerns about the possible effect on property values.

Construction on the project was scheduled to start this year.

L’Ormarins appointed a legal team to lodge its concerns about the EIR. Kantor Legal Services said its client’s comments had not been sufficiently considered by Heritage Western Cape or by environmental consultancy Aurecon.

PPC has offered to help upgrade roads. The company will contribute up to R100 million on a rand-for-rand basis with authorities for this work.