Residents take legal route

Bo-Kaap residents are against a proposed refinery in the area.

Bo-Kaap residents are set to receive legal assistance from The Legal Resource Centre (LRC) in their objection to a proposed jewellery refinery in the area(“Bo-Kaap residents rise up,” Atlantic Sun, August 18).

Angela Andrews, an environmental lawyer at the LRC, confirmed they would be helping the residents but would wait for a final decision before taking the next step.

Ms Andrews also said the organisation had helped the Bo-Kaap residents with their objection but was not able to comment further at this stage.

Osman Shaboodien, chairperson of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association welcomed the assistance from the LRC.

“We feel that this area is not conducive to a refinery. We feel that it should be in an industrial area away from people.”

He added that the LRC’s assistance would strengthen their case. “Resources in the community are scarce. Should the development be approved, we will have no choice but to take our case further.”

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Spatial Planning confirmed it had received an Environmental Impact Assessment for a proposed refinery from Leuven Metals.

The Department’s Head of Communication, Rudolf van Jaarsveldt, said: “The Department received an application for environmental authorisation for the proposed gold refining facility on Erf 176383, Cape Town.

“An acknowledgement of receipt of the application was issued to the applicant and the department confirmed that a Scoping and Environmental Impact Reporting Process is required. “The applicant proceeded with the necessary processes. The department is considering (the EIA) in accordance with relevant regulation.”

He said that no decision had yet been taken and therefore the department was not in a position to provide any comment. Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town said inspections had revealed that no precious metal refining operations are currently being undertaken by Leuven Metals on site.

Mayco member for health, Siyabulela Mamkeli, said: “The City’s Air Quality Management Unit has not had a formal application for an atmospheric emission licence from Leuven Metals.

“City Health did submit comments with regards to a Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report on Monday July 25. All other questions in respect of this issue should be directed to the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP).”

* Last week the Atlantic Sun reported that the Environmental Impact Assessment had been submitted to the City of Cape Town for comment and review when, in fact, it had been sent to the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.