A nuclear power station at Thyspunt threatens St Francis
- Thousands of heavy duty trucks on our narrow roads from the N2 via Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, St Francis Bay to the site via a yet to-be-built access road opposite Sea Vista;
- Overloaded services– water, sanitation, waste – (Eskom supplies power only – NO other services)? ;
- Major threats to the local chokka industry (4.5 million cubic meters of sand to be thrown into the sea; also blasting for undersea pipes some 6km offshore);
- A major threat to the quality of waves of Seal Point.
And based on the impact of the construction of the Medupi Power Station on the town of Lephalale
- Arrival of thousands of job seekers without formal settlements;
- Increased crime and prostitution;
- Increased loads on the local clinic;
- Lowering of house values owing to general decline in attractiveness of the area.
Support the Thyspunt Alliance in opposing the proposed Nuke at Thyspunt in court.
Stay informed – www.Thyspunt.org and follow us on Facebook /notathyspunt and Twitter @Thyspunt
Stay informed via this website, follow us on facebook and Twitter
These impacts are not guess work.
A nuclear reactor is not, as quoted by a managing director of the Nuclear Industrial Association of SA (Niasa), “ like a Simba chips factory”.
The full appreciation of these impacts is the result of the Thyspunt Alliance’s careful studies of the Environmental Impact Assessment (its decision still pending) and a comparison with the recorded impacts of the construction of the Medupi Power Station at Lephalale.
(While the nuke build may seem to offer the opportunity to rent out your house at an inflated price, it may not be so when 16 young bachelors move in. Ask some home owners in Lephalale.)
The Thyspunt Alliance has been extraordinarily effective. For the last nine years we have fought the good fight on your behalf. We have made submissions, engaged with experts, gone through the painstaking effort to request undisclosed documents, and slaved through files of documents. We have assisted the community in signing petitions, arranging marches and attending countless meetings.
(Our work will not be ending soon as we will be scrutinizing the proposed, as yet uninitiated, Environmental Impact Assessments required for two new undersea pipelines of 2 to 6 km offshore, three brand new roads, major upgrades to roads and bridges, three new additional power lines from the High Voltage Yard to the site and 5 new 400KvA power lines from the HV yard to Port Elizabeth.
Thus far the Thyspunt Alliance (TA) concerns and objections regarding the EIA findings have meant a revision of a revised draft document – a first in South Africa. It has also meant a two year hold up to the process.
In addition, the TA engaged Cullinan & Associates to act on our behalf throughout to ensure that due process has been followed (which it hasn’t). We have thus far spent an amount of R200 000.00 on our various legal submission and access to information requests.
We are now preparing for the next step - #LawFare .
For these actions we will need financial support – both small, and especially large donations. Thyspunt #LawFare campaign (https://www.givengain.com/c/thyspunt/ ), an audited bank account.
Stay informed via this website, follow us on facebook and Twitter
Some words from Trudi Malan, Coordinator of the Thyspunt Alliance (extraordinary investigator and warrior, without whom we would not have made such strides).
Friends, neighbours and fellow members of the lighthouse family, lend me your ears.
We make this call to action because we believe that if the construction of the nuclear power station at Thyspunt goes ahead we will lose features of this area that no amount of money will ever be able to replace. We will lose the soul of Seal Point, it will be ripped out and trampled on by the infrastructure collapse and social implosion. And in particular, it will be the poor who will suffer the most.
The time has come for our community to prepare for #LawFare. In spite of our best efforts we believe that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed Nuclear Power Station at Thyspunt is a flawed document. The majority of the specialist studies clearly state that Thyspunt is the most sensitive site yet the EIA practitioners come to the inconceivable conclusion that Thyspunt is the preferred site.
As Co-ordinator of the Thyspunt Allicance, I have spent days and nights, researching and studying not only the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed development but also the impacts of mega construction projects on communities in South Africa and other parts of the world.
I have listened to the arguments of those in favour of the development. I hear about massive economic benefits for the area, promises of job creation and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Unfortunately, actual facts do not back up these predictions.
The propaganda in the local media would have you believe that the project is a done deal. Gil Courtemanche said: “Propaganda is as powerful as heroin; it surreptitiously dissolves all capacity to think.” Edward L. Bernays maintained that “Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.”
The proposed nuclear build has a plethora of issues to debate but these issues sometimes overshadow the actual impacts of the biggest construction project in the Southern Hemisphere, on our community.
So what are these impacts for you to consider?
In addition to those impacts listed earlier -
- There are the obvious and very serious impacts on the natural environment and biodiversity.
- The un-mitigatable impacts on a cultural landscape of international importance.
Of the most serious impacts are the social impacts on an area that has to cope with a tremendous backlog of services.
Supporters of the project often refer to the positive impacts of the construction of the Medupi coal-fired power station which was started in 2007 next to the town of Lephalale, Limpopo Province. My studies of the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) of the Lephalale Municipality since 2001 reveal a disturbing picture.
The population of Medupi increased by 25 838.
Current housing backlog: 24 442 units
The supposed economic injection brought about by the massive construction project does not reflect in the economic growth rates for Lephalale.
2007 : 4.36%
2008 : -1.32%
2009 : -6.11%
2010 : -5.76%
2011 : 1.01%
Quotes from the IDP documents are worthy of consideration:
“The construction of Medupi power station which started in 2007 has already put tremendous pressure on the Municipality for the provision of more potable water, electricity and expansion of waste water treatment systems. The influx of people from surrounding areas and outside the Municipality has led to growth in informal settlements.” Lephalale IDP 2013
“Intensive road network and infrastructure planning did not precede nor has it kept pace with the significant industrial and population growth within the municipal area. To date few of the unchecked development effects visible in road transport include:
· Increased traffic through Lephalale without extended road infrastructure
· Significantly high freight truck traffic, “
“Various national, provincial and local roads in the Lephalale area have been damaged by heavy vehicles. This adversely affects the economic development of the area
· High levels of road congestion during peak traffic periods.”
“there is great concern regarding the capacity of local government to address their service delivery mandates, particularly in the face of rapid urbanization occurring in many towns and cities. In addition, municipal finances are often under stress, both because of capacity and management issues as well as revenue shortfalls (FCC 2013). This exacerbates service delivery backlogs and results in inadequate attention to the maintenance and upgrading of key infrastructure “
“Despite it being a national development node, serious development management shortcomings are evident, ie bulk infrastructure, municipal capacity and cohesion”
“the Lephalale Integrated Development Plan rates the HIV/AIDS epidemic as the leading cause of death in the area. The in-migration aspect plays a major role in this study as Lephalale is a mining industrial area, thus inviting migrants in search of employment from afar. “
“HIV/Aids infections in Lephalale are increasing, especially in emerging informal settlements such as Marapong. Statistics indicates that in Lephalale TB/HIV co-infection stands at about 65%, compared to the national average of 55%. “
“Marapong clinic require (sic) to be upgraded or a new clinic be built to provide adequate service for the population which has currently grown threefold as compared to when the clinic was originally established.
Influx of people into the Municipality as a result of economic development has put more pressure on the referral centres. The community is not confident about the services provided at primary health care centre. Lack of adequate financial resources for acquisition of advanced medical equipment‟s. Patients seek medical attention when they are at an advanced stage of ailment and this results into high mortality rate in children and adults.”
“Crime in general is showing trends of increment, this is as a result of more people flocking to Lephalale to look for economic opportunities.
Some observers are linking crime with unemployment and poverty. Taking into consideration that the key socio-economic phenomena that are devastating to the quality of life in Lephalale are:
a) Unemployment and poverty.
b) Secondary to these phenomena is alcohol abuse and;
c) Assault incidents which are normally being reported from the shebbeens.
d) Offences related to liquor trade have increased tremendously “
The Thyspunt Alliance needs support to fight this battle in court.