THE PROPOSED HABATA AGRI DAMS AND AGRICULTURAL EXPANSION PROJECT NEAR ROBERTSON, WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE: NOTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT
SCOPING AND EIA PROCESS (DEA&DP Ref No): 16/3/32/B1/14/1002/17
The Applicant (Habata Agri (Pty) Ltd.) proposes the development of an agricultural expansion project, comprising two new on-channel dams and the expansion of one existing off-channel dam with associated infrastructure as well as the expansion of agricultural lands on Portion 2, Portion 6, Portion 10 and the Remaining Extent of Farm No. 94, Remaining Extent of Farm No. 96, Portion 2 of Farm No. 97, Farm No. 93 and Farm No. 92 in the Robertson area.
The proposed scheme is required for the following reasons:
- The main purpose of the project is to be able to grow low seeded and seedless mandarin type citrus varieties, seedless table grapes and blue berries, as well as seedless watermelon (not an exhaustive list) for export to the UK, Europe, USA as well as the Far- and Middle East, amongst others. A portion of the abovementioned fruit will also be sold on the local market. In the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, Habata (Pty) Ltd already plays a significant role in food security in the local market as it is an established producer and global exporter of citrus, lemons, seedless watermelons, melons and vegetables in the Sunday River Valley.
- The proposed dams will provide balancing storage for existing lawful water use (i.e. enlistments on the Breede River, La Chasseur Canal and boreholes). The development will therefore be undertaken using existing water rights and allocation, and no additional water will be taken to fill the proposed dams.
- The expansion of the existing dam will provide additional storage capacity to serve the irrigation needs of the table grape and citrus production on the farms.
- The stored water will provide for the irrigation of new table grape and citrus varieties to be planted.
- The new proposed dams will achieve energy savings as the water will be fed from a higher altitude under gravity, to orchards under irrigation, thus saving pumping costs.
- If undertaken at the proposed scale, the proposed project is anticipated to create approximately 1000 job opportunities on the farm.
Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants has been appointed by Habata Agri (Pty) Ltd to undertake the requisite Environmental Impact Assessment process for the proposed project (in this case a Scoping and Environmental Impact Reporting (S&EIR) process) in accordance with the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) (No. 107 of 1998), as amended, EIA Regulations (2014).
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report has been made available to the public for review for a 30 day comment period, and is downloadable via the link below. Potential Interested & Affected Parties (I&APs) have 30 days, i.e. until 29 June 2017, to register as I&APs and raise any initial issues or concerns related to the proposed project and the findings of the EIA Report.Any comments received from I&APs will be incorporated into a Comments and Response Report CRR(3) and submitted to DEA&DP, together with the finalised EIA Report, for decision making.
Should you have any comments, issues or concerns regarding the proposed project or the findings of the Scoping Report, please provide your comments in writing to Melanie Webber of Holland & Associates Environmental Consultants, by email, fax or post (Fax: 086 653 1765, email: email@example.com or post: PO Box 31108, Tokai, 7966), on or before 29 June 2017.