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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:47 pm 
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PROTECTING THE MAGALIESBERG:
The core of the Magaliesberg had been protected by the proclamation of the Magaliesberg Protected Environment (MPE) for a long time. However all along, its watchdog organisation, the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA), annually has to fight off extreme pressure from developers. In 2008, the illegal building of Kgaswane Country Lodge within the boundaries of the MPE was picked up through aerial photos taken by the Bateleurs. The MPA appealed against the Section 24G approval of this development later given by North West Province (This approval rectified the illegality of the development and allowed it to continue). The precedent set threatens the whole integrity of the MPE and the viability of the proposed Magaliesberg Biosphere. The MPA, chaired by Paul Fatti, has therefore decided to instruct Advocates Peter Lazarus and Paul Kennedy and the environmental law firm Cameron Cross Inc. to take the matter to court. About R200 000 of R300 000 still has to be raised before 18 July 2010 to cover the legal costs.
An appeal is made to members to contribute to this cause.

Any contribution, no matter how small, will be welcome. All donations should be deposited in the Cameron Cross Inc. trust account at Standard bank, the details of which are:
Trust account number: 410 290 351
Branch: Centurion
Branch Code: 012 645 40
Reference: MPA718

Please e-mail Tandina Charters at Cameron Cross
(tandinac@cameroncross.co.za) when you have made the deposit, with a copy to
the MPA Secretary, Barbara Reid (sleighb@iafrica.com).

OR deposit your contribution to the MCSA Jhb section's account, the details of which are:

MCSA Johannesburg Section
Nedbank acc #1916044239
Killarney Branch Code 191605
REF: MPA Kga + your surname

Thank you very much for your support and contributions in this regard. Anyone who's been to this region knows it's a gem we want to conserve for our children, and theirs, and theirs...

(Note: this is an excerpt from the 14 June 2010 MCSA news letter)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:21 pm 
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People, lets get behind this one. Anyone who has climbed in the Magaliesberg knows how sensitive and precious it is. New luxury developments there are the not-so-thin edge of the wedge.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:37 pm 
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I would love to support this worthy cause, and I would like some clarity on a couple of issues around the request. Is there any guarantee that sufficient funds will be raised? Will those who put money forward be reimbursed if the case is won, and legal fees re-imbursed? Personally I am only in a position to make a small contribution, a mere fraction of that which is required, and I would thus like some kind of assurance that the money will be of use. My huge appreciation goes out to the MPA and all those who are willing to prevent the illegal development.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Stephan,

this is not about getting our money back. This is about seeing a piece of the earth that we love and care about immensely stay untouched by the filthy hands of greedy developers who don't give a damn about how and where they trample the environment.

So, to be honest, if the case is won and the R300 000 reimbursed, that money is best reinvested in land conservation and acquisition.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:08 pm 
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Real Name: CityROCK
R200-R300K - that's a lot of mullah. where exactly does this go? what legal firms ? who is doing pro bono work here? transparency is important if you want climbers to open their wallets.


Last edited by robertbreyer on Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:30 pm 
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Heinrich, I hear you loud and clear, I totally love the Magalies, and being introduced to climbing there while at Wits made a huge impact on my life and my view of the world and wanting to protect the most precious pristine environments. So you are right it's not about the money (except of course for the developers). To rephrase, I'm not interested in getting my money back, it was just not clear to me what would happen if all that money weren't raised, as it is a fair sum to have to amass from a handfull of MCSA members and other climbers, hikers and folks interested in protecting it from exploitation. If the money raised is insufficient, and the money goes towards another conservation initiative, then I'm in. What I'm merely concerned about is that the money people willingly choose to donate goes where it ought to. Thanks for your commitment, I think Robert echoed my sentiments, but worded them somewhat better than I did.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Location: Cape Town (mostly :) )
How much will a chateau with Jacuzzi and en-suite's, deck and braai set mr back? How much if it overlooks Tonnquani?
^;^


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:55 am 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
the MCSA & people involved here has proven themselves over many years to be efficient & trustworthy stewards. i'm not against transparency, but think that an attitude that says "they have to disclose everything otherwise we will not contribute" is not cool - i'm pretty sure the money won't be wasted.

if 1200 people each contribute R250 the cost is covered. not a very tall order if you ask me.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:27 am 
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Real Name: OneDog
Just do it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:03 am 
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So here's the latest info I have via email from the MCSA.

There were two pdf attachments to the email which I have asked Justin to post up on the site.

The first is a detailed memo on the prospects of actually "winning" the case and what exactly "winning" means, written by the Senior Council Paul Kennedy, and the advocate, Peter Lazarus.

The second is a statement on the issue by Paul Fatti, chairman of the Magaliesberg Protection Association.

THE MOUNTAIN CLUB OF SOUTH AFRICA
(JOHANNESBURG SECTION)

MEMBERS' INFORMATION PAC AND FUNDING APPEAL
KGASWANE COUNTRY LODGE

Executive Summary:
At a meeting of the General Committee of the Johannesburg Section held on Monday, 7 June 2010, a unanimous decision was reached to support the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA) in taking a decision of the MEC of Northwest Province on appeal to the High Court.

To this end the Committee further agreed to guarantee costs of this court action in the sum of R100,000 to enable the MPA to instruct the attorneys to take the matter further without delay.

The deadline for the MPA's attorneys to lodge initiating documents is 18 July 2010 and in order to meet that deadline, the attorneys must immediately start working on this enormous task.

Members will be asked to attend a Special General Meetingin the very near future.

The objective of the Special General Meeting is to gain ratification from our Members of the General Committee's decision to guarantee an amount of R100,000 towards the costs of the high court action, and to further seek approval for the possible expenditure of a further sum of R200,000.

This is an appeal for financial contributions for this exercise. While the Committee has guaranteed the funds, it is hoped that the members will once again pitch in to assist in this legal challenge so that our Land & Access funds are not depleted. This is particularly relevant with the possible up-coming purchase of Wilgepoort. To date we understand that R100,000 has been bequeathed to the MPA by Hermann Vogl's estate and that the MPA itself does have some funds available, as well as possible funding from Magaliesberg Section. More information in this regard can be found in the attached documents.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In July 2008 members of the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA) noticed a massive development, Kgaswane Lodge, taking place inside the Magaliesberg Protected Environment (MPE) at Olifantsnek, while flying with the ‘Bateleurs’. The North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment had also just become aware of this development and were in the process of prosecuting the developer. However, in March 2009 the MPA learned that MEC had approved the developer’s application for rectification of his development, via Section 24G of the National Environmental Management Act. An appeal was lodged by the MPA, but this was dismissed by the MEC, claiming that the lodge is “in line with tourism for the area”. The Magaliesberg and Johannesburg Sections and the Johannesburg Hiking Club contributed towards the legal costs of this appeal.

Kgaswane Country Lodge is an upmarket hotel situated in an area classified as “highly sensitive” by the Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for the Magaliesberg. The EMF describes developments like Kgaswane as “incompatible activities”. This poses a threat to the declaration of the Greater Magaliesberg Region as a Biosphere under the UNESCO charter. If the decision on this development is not opposed in some way, it could also open up the floodgates for further illegal developments following the 24G route within the MPE. After taking legal advice, the MPA decided to take the MEC’s decision to court on review. This will cost in the region of R300 000 (taking into account a pro bono and a 50% discount from the two senior environmental advocates working on the case, amounting to personal donations of thousands of rands). The MPA hope to be able to put R100 000 towards these costs, leaving R200 000 to be raised by other means. The deadline to lodge the Review is 18 July 2010.

The MPA therefore asks the Johannesburg and Magaliesberg Sections, the Johannesburg Hiking Club and other parties such as the Wildlife Society [WESSA]) to urgently request their members and anyone else concerned about the consevation of the Magaliesberg, for contributions.

In the meantime we appeal to all to contribute any amount, no matter how small. Contributions can be paid into the MCSA account now (asap please!) which will be transferred to the MPA before the deadline.

MCSA Johannesburg Section
Nedbank acc # 1916044239
Killarney Branch Code 191605
REF: MPA Kga + your surname






IMPORTANT FACTS:
• The Mountain Club of South Africa owns tracts of land in the Magaliesberg, the conservative estimated value of which is between R25 and R35 million.
• One of the Objectives of The Mountain Club of South Africa is . . .
"Initiate and support actions towards protecting the natural beauty and wilderness character of mountains and to promote their effective Conservation Management"

• There are outside Organisations that could possibly be approached for funding. However, owing to the urgent nature of this matter, we do not have the luxury of time to approach them at this point.
• The R100,000 referred to in the attached PDF document headed "MPA Statement on Kgaswane Lodge May 2010" (copy of which is circulated together with these documents) is a bequest by Hermann Vogl, whose estate has not yet been finalised.
• Whilst this action goes against the grain of what we believe in in The Mountain Club, the Committee feels that we cannot afford not to do anything bearing in mind our commitment to the Magaliesberg, and its future.

NB NB - PLEASE read these attached documents.
Attachments:
1. MPA Statement on Kgaswane Lodge May 2010
2. Summary of Pros and Cons, author Advocate Peter Lazarus


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:06 am 
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Emile, you are the man!

I've asked for permission to send a lengthy letter that pretty much explains it all on to Justin and ask him if he could post it up somewhere on this site (the letter has pdf docs attached, otherwise I could just post it up myself). I don't think it will be a problem, since it was sent to all the Jhb mcsa members and obviously its better if more people sees it - even if it is just to create awareness.

O nevermind, Hector was faster than me. Thanks mate :thumleft:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:18 am 
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Thanks for all the additional info. EFT completed!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:36 pm 
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And here's the notification for the MCSA meeting:


NOTICE OF SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING OF
THE MOUNTAIN CLUB OF SOUTH AFRICA JOHANNESBURG SECTION

Notice is hereby given that a Special General Meeting will be held on

WEDNESDAY 23 JUNE 2010 AT 20h00

At the Waverley Girl Guide Hall, Stirling Street Waverley, Johannesburg


THE OBJECTIVE of the Special General Meeting is :-

1. to gain ratification from our Members of the General Committee's decision to guarantee an amount of R100,000 to support the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA) in taking a decision of the MEC of Northwest Province to allow the development of Kgaswane Country Lodge, (which falls within the Magaliesberg Protected Area) on appeal to the High Court, and by so doing allow the MPA to instruct their attorneys to take the matter further without delay, and to further seek approval for the possible expenditure of a further sum of R200,000 towards the same cause.

2. to allow the Chairman to inform members of the possible acquisition of Wilgepoort.

PROXY VOTES

Extract from the Constitution of the Mountain Club of South Africa Johannesburg Section

a. Members shall be entitled to vote personally or by proxy, provided that no member present shall vote on behalf of more than two absent members.

b The instrument appointing a proxy shall specify the meeting in respect of which it is granted and be signed by the grantor and shall be lodged with a member of the General Committee not less than twenty-four hours before the time at which such meeting is due to begin at which the person named in the instrument proposes to vote. In default of compliance with any of the aforegoing, the instrument of proxy shall be deemed invalid.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:32 pm 
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Location: Cape Town (mostly :) )
for a measly (sp?) R250ZAR Heinrich sold me the following...

a chateau overlooking tonquani
seating arrangements primative though - two rocks stacked


Bargain!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:22 pm 
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I must add, though, that it only includes a cold (read: freezing your arse off) water supply, ceilings that seep (tree foliage is known to provide some protection, but not much...), and frequent baboon raids.

Only three units left. T is a nice guy, so he got it for R250. Usual price: R350 + a bottle of red wine of my choice. any takers?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
a thought :idea: (one of the few i have)..... the impact of this case may extend well beyond the magaliesberg. if dodgy developers (i presume) that gets development rights by dodgy means (i presume again) have their butts kicked in court by mcsa / other conservationists it will send a clear message that you will be fought to the death if you transgress in protected areas. a case i will support :thumleft:

that beautiful koppie next to the N1 adjacent to irene (after the botha ln offramp) was bulldozed halfway to oblivion before concerned citizens got the court order to stop it. it was a protectorate and the developers obviously brown enveloped their way into the "right" to destroy one of the few pieces of pristine nature in the area. i think the offender was that kingpin of soulless townhouse infestations - MTT developments (if i'm not mistaken?). could have been averted if people were proactive....


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:57 pm 
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Location: JHB
Mok you've hit the nail on the head. The biggest reason for the MCSA to pursue this case (other than to change the MEC's decsion regarding the lodge), is to send a clear message to dodgey developers who build first and ask for forgiveness later (with no due process being followed, i.e. no EIA etc.). Being a major land owner in the Magaliesberg Protected Area it makes a lot of sense for the MCSA to ensure due process is followed regarding development within the MPA boundaries.

_________________
Open hand, open mind...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
The two attachments that Hector mentioned can be found at the bottom of the following page:
http://www.climb.co.za/2010/06/magalies ... n-the-mpe/

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:02 am 
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Location: Rustenburg
Real Name: Marc Dewrance
Perhaps the latest article with relevant info and pics etc could be sent to the Rustenburg Herald for an updated article, they love doing follow up stories!

I have lived in Rustenburg for 6 years now and never saw the first article about this development. It is unsightly and right next to Hunters Rest Hotel - really no justification for another hotel in the Olifants Nek area.
I know that if more people, especially in Rustenburg, were aware of this they would be willing to help.

Seems like its easier to get forgiveness than a 'yes', when building an illegal development, considering the argument that the MEC doesn't want to rehabilitate the land because "a lot of money has already been spent"! (Lining whose pockets?) :evil:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:08 am 
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I just spoke with Paul Fatti, the Chairman of the MPA. He requested that the general media (newspapers etc.) are not brought in just yet. He does, however, plan to involve them at a later stage. The MPA has previously had articles in the Rustenburg Herald and the Sunday Independant on this issue. In the meantime, lets continue to support the MCSA with every little bit we can. Other developers are waiting to see how this one plays out. If the MPA is not successful then its open season in the Magaliesberg for golf courses, luxury lodges and 4x4's.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:19 am 
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Real Name: Monique Louw
Hi,

I'm new here... but my unsolicited 2 cents. Greenpeace managed to use Facebook to put enough pressure on Nestle to change their policies regarding the use of palm oil. Perhaps a similar campaign can be run here. Its much easier to spread a message via social media sites than through discussion boards or email. I'd be happy to set up a cause or a group on FB to this end.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-20000 ... 7-1_3-0-20

M


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:26 pm 
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Thanks Nique. From my discussion with Paul that should be fine. Please place the emphasis on raising funds for the MCSA to support the MPA. We dont want an out-of-control internet storm that could jeopardise the good work the MPA is doing. Let them fight the battle and let the rest of us focus on supporting them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:19 am 
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An update: members of the MCSA Magaliesberg (Pretoria) and MCSA Johannesburg sections decided in two separate member meetings held the during last couple of days to guarantee an amount of up to R200 000 towards the legal costs of the MPA. This will be funded from MCSA funds. Donations from members and non-members are however still requested as the worst case estimate exceeds this amount.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Location: Joburg
Come people this is important, the alternative is me getting a shotgun and going quad bike hunting....
Putting my money where my mouth is, or my wife's money for that matter.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:55 pm 
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Location: Rustenburg
Real Name: Marc Dewrance
I would love to take my kids to the unspoilt Magaliesburg one day!!!!
Join in people, this development looks hideous :puker: ! I drive past it every week!
Quad bike hunting sounds like a good sport. Could take on... :lol:

We can't afford more of this in any of our mountains / protected environments!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Bump.
Paul Fatti, the Magaliesberg Protection Association Chairman has written a history of this whole issue, as well as describing the current status. It has been posted up on the main page and makes for interesting reading. Link:
http://www.climb.co.za/2010/08/mpa-statement-on-kgaswane-lodge/

Note that the pdf gives different banking details to those used previously. Please continue to use the old banking details. This money goes to the MCSA, and in the event it is not used for the legal battle the MCSA will use it towards funding other projects. E.g. the purchase of climbing venues. So either way donations are for a worthy cause.

The MCSA bank details are:
MCSA Johannesburg Section
Nedbank acc # 1916044239
Killarney Branch Code 191605
REF: MPA Kga + your surname


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:53 pm 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
Click here to see the update on the Kgaswane Lodge in the Magaliesberg

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
:pirat:


Last edited by mokganjetsi on Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
raait, i contacted an investigative journalist who expressed keen interest in covering this story. he has a number of questions and i would like to put him in contact with Paul Fatti & Peter Lazarus. can anybody please help with their contact details (e-mail)?

tks!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
Thanks Willem, I have passed on your message and contact details to Paul.

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