Game Rangers Association
POSITION PAPERS AND MEDIA STATEMENTS
Members of the Game Rangers Association of South Africa agreed to the following position regarding the proposal by Eskom for a nuclear power station to be erected at Bantamsklip in the vicinity of Pearly Beach on the Agulhas Plain.
1 - GRAA supports the development of technology for clean substitutes for the burning of fossil fuel
2 - GRAA recognises the need to utilise current alternative cleaner technology which includes nuclear power generation to reduce the impacts of waste from the burning of fossil fuel;
3 - GRAA encourages continuing research and development into technology which could be a substitute for nuclear technology in order to eradicate the generation of radioactive waste which has long-term implications for life on this planet.
4 - GRAA opposes unequivocally the construction and operation of a nuclear power station at
Bantamsklip, since this is a globally and nationally recognised biodiversity hotspot, is in an area of
irreplaceable lowland fynbos, and situated in a region known as the Agulhas Plain, the site of a
world-renowned sustainability study focussed on the integration of conservation and development.
The reasons for this stance are as follows:
5 - The devaluation of the multi-million rand investment into the Agulhas Plain over the past five years by international bi- and multilateral aid agencies, national, provincial and local government, philanthropic organisations as well as the private sector.
- The Agulhas Plain was selected by the SA Government in 2002 to serve as the model for an innovative approach to conservation and human development. The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI), was thus launched to address conservation and development at an ecosystem level to ensure a sustainable future for communities of the area.
- This new approach requires that all parties which own, manage and utilise natural resources and land are included in planning and implementation. ABI has been a response to the government's call to encourage local ownership, responsibility and socio-economic benefits through the optimal use of the natural and human assets of the region. ABI is being championed by SANParks in partnership with all the major agencies in the area i.e. Agriculture and Land Affairs, CapeNature, the Municipal structures, public benefit organisations and commerce. The latter focuses in particular on eco-tourism. ABI is contractually bound to its many investors to develop and promote a sustainable model for the whole fynbos biome through the Cape Action for People and the Environment (C.A.P.E.).
- The ABI partners - and indeed the government itself - are not at liberty to put the achievements of the past five years at risk. For five years the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative has promoted sustainability, progress and prosperity through ecotourism, sustainable use and the marketing of the region's natural assets and resources aimed at responsible and sustainable development. A nuclear power station has not been included in the Spatial Development Plans and the Integrated Development Plans of the region simply because such an installation is not regarded as a compatible land and resource use.
- GRAA challenges the fact that the potential impacts of the power line and road networks, the water cooling system, the transport and disposal of nuclear waste, as well as the changes in community and social structures are not being weighed against the socio-economic benefits being touted. GRAA would expect that the needs of the indigenous flora, tourism development and quality of life of the towns and communities of the region should outweigh short term gain in employment levels being advertised. This objective assessment needs to take place to be true to the principles of sustainability
7 - GRAA recommends that all current and new players, including Eskom, who are concerned with the sustainable maintenance of biodiversity in the region should; Focus resources in the Agulhas Plain and the broader Overberg on research and development of “green” energy. Included in such a “green” energy R&D programme would be wave, wind, solar, buy-back schemes from household produced energy and the development of biogas powered turbines;
- Strengthen the integrated approach to conservation and development by working with established partners and institutional arrangements within existing frameworks;
- Plan a strategy and put in place an implementation plan that builds on the achievements of these programme in the field of sustainable resource use, natural resource economics, biodiversity business and others.
Game Rangers Association of Africa
PO Box 78, Rosetta 3301 KZN,
Telefax +27(0) 33 2677171;
Mobile +27(0) 82 4634104
8 th May 2006