A group of environmentalists has filed an interdict against the City of Cape Town to stop the long-running attempt by the City to build a new road link along the edge of the environmentally sensitive Noordhoek wetlands in the southern Peninsula.
Current environment MEC Anton Bredell signed a letter dismissing appeals against his department’s approval of the second phase of this two-phase road project on 15 March.
Lawyers for the Noordhoek Environmental Action Group (NEAG) however, submitted a 387-page application to the Western Cape High Court challenging eight key elements in Bredell’s September 2020 approval of phase one of the new road and asking for the approval to be reversed.
The group said the new road will “most probably” result in the local extinction of the Western Leopard Toad, an endangered species.
The toads are the flagship species for everything else that is existing in the wetland currently.
Phase one of this road project, that dates back to 2002, involves a 1.2km proposed extension of Houmoed Avenue in Sunnydale, running along the eastern side of the wetlands.
Phase two is a planned further extension that will connect Lekkerwater Road with Fish Eagle Park in the west and facilitate the City’s upgrading plans for both formal and informal housing in the densely populated township of Masiphumelele.
The City of Cape Town is the first respondent in the court case and Bredell the second.
Bredell’s spokesperson James-Brent Styan said the MEC had not yet decided whether to oppose NEAG’s application.
Mayco Member for Transport, Felicity Purchase, said the City was considering its options regarding the application and would inform NEAG once a decision had been reached, by 12 April at the latest.