CoAL rail plan angers farmers
Johannesburg - Coal of Africa [JSE:CZA] (CoAL) is planning to build a
R300m railway line north of the Soutpansberg in the Limpopo River basin to
transport coal from the Makhado-project to ArcelorMittal SA [JSE:ACL] in
Marietjie Eksteen, CoAL's environmental consultant, said at
a Johannesburg meeting for interested parties at the company's head office on
Thursday that the tracks, with a projected cost of R22.5m, would cross nine
farms, among them four game farms, Beeld reported on FRiday.
She said 400 indigenous trees, several of them protected,
would have to be removed, and that the company would apply for permits to do
Eksteen said furthermore that the company planned to erect a
game fence on both sides of the track.
Owners of game farms in the area were upset by the plans,
Beeld reported, saying a fence would have a negative effect on the migration
patterns of game.
They also expressed concern that CoAL's plans would impact
negatively on their quality of life and the value of their land.
Farmers in the area oppose CoAL's development plans,
and they anticipated that the issue would end up being settled in court, it was
CoAL has meanwhile applied for a mining permit and a water
licence, and hopes to begin mining in Makhado early in 2013.