Temporary sandbags must be strategically placed to halt further erosion or a cave-in of the dune at Wilderness Dunes.
GEORGE NEWS - At an emergency meeting held to discuss the precarious situation in which several homes in Wilderness Dunes are presently in, following destructive large-scale erosion, it was resolved that interim and immediate steps must be taken to help prevent the collapse of two beachfront homes.
During Monday's emergency meeting, convened by Vernon Gibbs-Halls, of Eden District Municipality, facilitating discussions took place between the homeowners, SANParks, George Municipality, Eden District Municipality as well as the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP).
It was agreed that, as a temporary measure, sandbags must be strategically placed to halt further erosion or a cave-in of the dune. In terms of the DEA's Emergency Directives Section 30A of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), written or verbal permission can be granted that allows property owners to take appropriate measures to prevent a disaster from happening.
Gibbs-Halls explained, "The relevant directive has been requested from National DEA. However, after the temporary works, a full Basic Assessment Report will need to be undertaken in order to acquire the necessary approval in terms of Listed Activities 17, 18 and 19 of the Environmental Regulations and the Integrated Coastal Management Act.
This will involve an Environmental Management Plan, a full public participation process and a Dune Rehabilitation Plan, as well as the appointment of an Independent Environmental Practitioner, along with sound engineering expertise. Property owners have agreed to establish a dune forum and to involve as many affected people as possible to discuss the long-term planning and cost implications of the protective measures."