N2WCR Project not affected after strong support from the Eastern Cape Province, local and district municipalities, traditional leaders and communities in the region.
The court ruling in favour of the Xolobeni community against the issuing of mining rights in the area will not have any influence on SANRAL’s N2 Wild Coast Road (N2WCR) project.
The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) is working closely with local communities and the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to address issues relating to communal land in areas affected by the construction of the road.
“We have always maintained that the road will contribute to the economic development of the region and open opportunities for eco-tourism, conservation and the hospitality sector,” said Vusi Mona, Communications Manager for SANRAL.
The N2 Wild Coast Road will also give communities that have been marginalised in the past access to essential government services such as schools, clinics and pension payout points.
The project enjoys strong support from the Eastern Cape Province, local and district municipalities, traditional leaders and communities in the region.
SANRAL and the DRDLR obtain community consent to acquire the land required to build any new or realigned road and negotiate with individual land right use holders to acquire communal land assigned to individuals.
The process followed complies fully with the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act that was at the center of yesterday’s court ruling.
Meetings are held with traditional leaders and the affected municipalities to explain the acquisition processes and receive feedback and guidance on how to proceed.
Community meetings where resolutions are taken are advertised and agreements are signed relating to compensation for the land that is required for construction.
The value of the land is determined by a professional valuer and compensation is paid into a trust account managed by the community. In cases involving individuals the contracts make provision for issues relating to buildings that might have been constructed and the possible relocation of graves.
Residents of the Eastern Cape have responded positively to SANRAL’s initiatives and the process of consultation prior to land acquisition.
Lulamile Mapholoba, a resident from the Baleni area, located next to the Mtentu River, said he had moved into a newly built house.
“I was happy with the process that took place when SANRAL acquired the land. They follow a good process. They have built houses for us and we are very happy with the project,” said Mapholoba a Municipal Manager at Greater Kokstad Local Municipality.