The Western Heads-Goukamma Conservancy, the Western Heads Protection Group and resident Susan Campbell have objected to the ISDF (Integrated Strategic Development Framework) tender being awarded to the Knysna Creative Heads Consortium. They have provided a detailed objection that will teach you more about Knysna than you ever knew before. It’s a scary read which is why you have to read it!
I have reduced it somewhat and divided it into sections dealing with a possible conflict of interest, Chris Mulder’s intentions for Knysna (Belvidere/Uitzicht, George Place and more), Rheenendal development, intended developments by the companies who may own the majority of Knysna (Barlows/PG Bison), municipal bias and the tender process.
I will post 1 to 2 parts per day so that you can absorb it better. Subscribers receive a notification immediately. If you’re not yet a subscriber, it’s a simple process of submitting your email address (on top of the right-hand menu bar on every page) and to click the confirmation link you will receive by mail.
That the environment, Knysna’s main attraction to tourists, has constantly been threatened by developers is a BIG issue. That the Municipality doesn’t believe in responsible progress is as disconcerting. I’m conscious that on Monday past, sewage was making its way to the Knysna Estuary again.
In respect of a full picture, Knysna Creative Heads Consortium is encouraged to respond.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
Stakeholders in an SDF process should also include environmental groups, property developers, churches, farmers, local business and tourism forums as well as organisations involved with vulnerable members of society such as the elderly, children and impoverished members of society.
It is vital that all consultants involved in an SDF process should be above reproach and have no present or future personal or professional interest in the outcome of the process. No matter how competent a consultant, any potential conflict of interest should automatically disqualify him/her from the process. Any person with an interest in the outcome of the process may not be appointed as a consultant and may only participate in the public participation process as a stakeholder. In other words, no stakeholder may be appointed as a consultant.
Our main concern relates to the SDF and the biodiversity management plan that form part of the process and the suitability of CMAI to manage the process. The core business and main projects of CMAI will be examined below.
- It is precisely the tendency of Dr Mulder to propose large scale property developments in environmentally sensitive areas that have led to conflict with both interested parties and the Western Cape Provincial Government.
- Two of these proposed developments, Uitzicht (above Belvidere) and George Rex Village, fall within the Knysna municipal area and have elicited much controversy and opposition. From the examples of specific developments cited below, it will become clear that the urban edge plays a crucial role in the potential success of Dr Mulder’s developments. Obviously having a property located inside the urban edge is vital to successful rezoning of the property. Environmental approval may also be easier to obtain once a property is located inside the urban edge.
- Natural beauty and/or proximity to a natural resource. Many of these developments take advantage of the conservation efforts of private landowners, such as in the case of Uitzicht, or formally protected areas such as near Kurland, without contributing to the conservation effort in any significant way. These developments are almost always gated, with exclusive access to the inhabitants and their invitees. Exclusivity and security are favoured by Dr Mulder’s, mostly affluent, potential clients. As the land is mostly zoned for agricultural use, it is more affordable.
- Due to the above factors, the most controversial part of the process of drafting or amending an SDF is usually the determination of the urban edge. It is therefore incomprehensible that the Knysna municipality can appoint a developer such as Dr Mulder to manage the process. The conflict of interest is so glaring that it is impossible to miss.
- Click here to read:
- Environmental Groups Object 1: ISDF Tender Award & Chris Mulder
- Environmental Groups Object 2: CMAI & Chris Mulder’s Plans
- Environmental Groups Object 3: PG Bison/500 Houses for Rheenendal?
- Environmental Groups Object 4: PG Bison Bullies Environmentalists?
- Environmental Groups Object 5: Mike Maughan-Brown
- Environmental Groups Object 6: Conflicts of Interest
- Environmental Groups Object 7: Conclusion