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Public encouraged to share thoughts on Helderfontein development

HELDERFONTEIN – Nature lovers and avid horse riders are contesting a proposed development in Kyalami.

Members of the public are invited to send their concerns about a new residential development near Helderfontein.

The public participation process will take place until 29 November.

The open field property is located near Helderfontein Residential Estate, east of the Jukskei River, and could be home to 2 000 flats, four- storeys high.

Greater Kyalami Conservancy (Gekco) chairperson, Kristin Kallesen said the veld was classified as an endangered Egoli Granite Grassland that is protected by the province, and is home to a number of flora and fauna.

“The application is to cover the entire property with four-storey apartments which is in conflict with Gauteng’s conservation goals. This Egoli Granite Grassland was excluded from previous development applications due to the sensitivity.

“Endangered grass-owls have been spotted here as the Helderfontein property forms an important wildlife corridor between the Jukskei River and Beaulieu Bird Sanctuary. Giant bullfrogs, hedgehogs, porcupine and jackal are all regularly spotted on the property,” she said.

Kallesen added that she was hopeful the appropriate persons take the community and Gekco’s concerns into consideration as it was an area that many equestrian and nature lovers in the Kyalami area valued and appreciated.

“Gekco submitted an objection as did a number of residents in the area when the township was advertised last month. This is an opportunity to comment during the environmental assessment process. I hope that the authority takes the comments of the residents into account.”

Environmental assistant practitioner of Nali Sustainability Solutions, Pirate Ncube has been consulting during the public participation process. He said notices and a newspaper advert were published to inform and invite the community of the proposed development.

“Adjacent land occupiers were given notices of the intended development. After the comments have been captured and attended to, a consolidated report containing all the comments and responses will be generated,” said Ncube.

“It will be provided to all registered interested and affected parties, and then included in the final report to be submitted to the authorities.”

Details: If you want to submit a comment as part of the public participation, you can email Pirate Ncube at ncube.nali@gmail.com before 29 November.

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