Drakensberg Cable Car

10 Jun 2016 11:25 #68747 by AdrianT
I have not read all the posts, but will add my 2 cents quickly.

They can do environmental impact assessments as much as they want, they'll never take into account the human factor. This week I was up the mountain twice and both times in Platteklip Gorge - a place I normally avoid. The graffiti is really getting out of hand. No doubt the Drakensberg would fall victim to the exact same thing. I don't think you are ever further than 30 metres from a piece of toilet paper on Platteklip. Cape Nature does nothing. Most of these rocks have had graffiti on them for years, but now it is really escalating. Even India Venster has.

I hope this cable car never happens. It will be a terrible day indeed. They make millions from the cable cars - and that is what matters to them. Up to 65 people per car at R125 per adult for a 1 way ticket. In summer they are full both ways, cranking a return every 7 minutes or so. Around R15 000 every 7 minutes on a good day. Not to mention the insanely expensive shop. :thumbsdown: When will our government (oh hell not this one!) realise that we have some of the most awesome natural environments on earth and that we need to preserve them and not open them up to destruction and pillage? Anyway, rant over.

Coming to the Drakensberg soon, I really hope not!



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10 Jun 2016 11:41 #68750 by ghaznavid
If you drive up to Witsieshoek, you go past a cave that some call "modern rock art" (sarcastically, of course - it is a badly vandalised cave) - and there are a fair number of spots with graffiti already, such as names carved in the soft rock behind the Mushroom at Didima.

I saw some environmentally friendly graffiti on Kilimanjaro - instead of marking the rock, they spelled their names out by careful arrangement of small rocks, I thought that was pretty clever.

Nonetheless, I have been told that the 3 biggest environmental concerns are:
1) The bearded vulture is very close to being extinct, and is vital to the mountain eco-system. Birds have a well documented tendency to fly into cableways, which often ends up killing them
2) Invasive alien plants are a big problem in the area already (as anyone who tries South Saddle Pass will learn in a rather painful manner). Tourists walk around the base station, and the top, thus rapidly spreading the problem.
3) Erosion caused by the construction will most likely impact on the water in the region, and this is in one of SA's largest drainage basins

An EIA apparently takes around 2 years if conducted properly, due to having to monitor conditions in every season, and a sample of 1 isn't very scientific - hence the fact that under current regulations, they basically cannot start construction for at least 3 more years (allowing for tenders etc).

Nonetheless - we should have a better idea of what is going on after the upcoming conference in Durban (just over a week away).

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse." Herman Daly
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15 Jun 2016 18:51 #68843 by ghaznavid
FYI:
www.drakensbergcablecar.com/

Schedule, speakers etc for the conference next week are quoted here.

I will be at the conference and will provide some feedback after the conference.

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse." Herman Daly

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15 Jun 2016 19:53 #68844 by LouisvV
So it looks like it's just a matter of time. Very sad indeed. I really hope this project fail or the first trip up the cable snaps.

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21 Jun 2016 13:45 #68887 by Richard Hunt

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21 Jun 2016 13:50 #68888 by ghaznavid
That's an error of note - Tatev went from 7k to 95k p.a., not 2k to 700k.

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse." Herman Daly

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21 Jun 2016 14:11 #68889 by Coeta
and it had also consulted with some 20 000 community members about the development of the project.

I call BS

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21 Jun 2016 18:10 #68892 by ghaznavid
More details on the conference may be posted at a later stage - but here are some photos if anyone is interested:







I am not going to say anything about the conference right now - not that I have been told to keep quite about it or anything like that, it just wouldn't be particularly helpful at this stage.

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse." Herman Daly

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21 Jun 2016 20:22 #68899 by intrepid
For the record, and since this was out in the media, I did eventually receive an invitation to attend the conference as VE. I had to initiate the contact and apply for invitation however.

ghaznavid was already attending and so I requested him to represent VE there too, which he did. Thanks ghaz.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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