Judgment leaves bitter taste

Berta van Rooyen, Tokai

Tokai plantation survives another judgment though with a minority opinion by The Honorable Judge AJA Rogers.

In the light of the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment it would therefore not be unreasonable to expect public obedience to statutory regulations of SANParks. Yet since 2005 several incidents of transgression occurred. Included are trespassing in sensitive areas under rehabilitation, of which we have evidence; clipping and removal of wires; illegal removal of notice boards prohibiting access at areas as well as tape around a heritage site; creating playgrounds and horse drinking pools in areas sensitive to erosion; alcohol usage; unauthorised picnics; poor cooperation regarding dog’s poo and left behind poo-bags.

Public behaviour is furthermore not in line with nature conservation laws, as indicated by the Tokai-Cecilia Management Framework Plan, which was used to bring the application in the first place.

The National Heritage Resources Act is also overstepped.

The so called reason to be heard is doomed by constant and prolonged virulent verbal attacks on officials of SANParks, their associates and supportive representative public groups.

Homeowners of the Dennendal/Tokai suburb fear a plantation fire. This risk is totally ignored, as is the fact that alien trees negatively affect the groundwater of Cape Town.

It took decades for SA law to eradicate apartheid laws. An American saying – money buys the best politicians – is also applicable to communities who can afford to enforce the law upon others. Where the spatial development of this valley during apartheid is a remnant of forced removals, the present SCA judgment leaves a bitter after-
taste.