I walk my dogs in one of the last remaining stretches of open veld in Tshwane. I have met a tortoise, dassies, rabbits, clumps of 50-year old boophones and groves of wild seringas and lekkerbreek trees.
Last week, driving past the land, I glimpsed a notice on the fence. I stopped to read it. It was not in English, but I took down the contact details of www.eims.co.za and requested a copy in English. It was duly emailed to me. My worst fears were realised. The Department of Foreign Affairs is to build their HQ on the site - I can just imagine what it will look like - 15 hectares of concrete, roads and parking lots. Oh there will probably be some clumps of man made gardens too. The company is conducting an EIA to "register interested and affected parties ... solicit comments and concerns".
F U C K !!!! How are tortoises, rabbits and seringas supposed to register their concerns. They are about to lose their homes ... and their lives. But they have no access to telephones, emails and faxes. So they will just DIE.
I will attend the public meeting on 25 October and try and find some way of protesting this development, but an aquaintance who works at DFA says it's a foregone conclusion that the new DFA HQ will be built on that site. So much for soliciting comments huh?
And what are the chances of all the current dogwalkers being allowed to continue walking our dogs there? ZERO, because of course, there will be security fences and gates and access cards and no more dogs allowed unless they are working for the security company that "protects" the place.
By the way Boophones and Wild Seringas are notoriously difficult, if not impossible to cultivate, so I hope the "developers" .... ugh I hate that word .... remember to save these species and build around them!