Prospecting to start at historical Donkerhoek villa Print E-mail
News - Aktueel
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 15:05
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Delf Sand is going to start prospecting in Donkerhoek and the first property targeted is the one which houses a well-known historical villa from the 1800’s.

Donkerhoek, Pienaarspoort, Elandshoek and Nooitgedacht residents who attended the public participation meeting held at Africa 2000 about the Infrasors application for a prospecting permit will remember the community resistance to the prospecting.

In the meantime Infrasors was taken over by Afrimat, which is now the umbrella organisation under which the Pienaarspoort-based Delf Sand falls.

Joan-Louise du Toit from the Cullinan Conservancy

In January we reported that residents are up in arms about Infrasors Holdings’ application for a prospecting licence in Donkerhoek. Residents said that they could not understand why the company wanted to ‘test’ 270 000 tons of sand in Donkerhoek in a so-called prospecting process. Two years ago Delf Sand produced only 275 120 tons of silica throughout the entire year.

To residents the ‘prospecting’ looked pretty much like mining activities.

In May, Barry McDougal from the 1880 Donkerhoek villa received a phone call from Otto Fourie, Delf Sand’s manager, to request a meeting. Otto told Barry that the prospecting licence was granted and that he wanted to start drilling.

Delf Sand wants to start prospecting on the smallholding that houses this historical Donkerhoek villa

According to Joan-Louise du Toit from the Cullinan Conservancy, the application went through the Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development (MPRDA) Act, 28 of 2002. Therefore the company is not obliged to notify those who registered as interested and affected parties in the public participation process. However, they have to negotiate with the property owners for access and the payment of compensation.

The McDougals were advised to request a copy of the letter from Otto, and they and the other property owners have the option to appeal directly to the Department of Mineral Resources against the decision.
Joan-Louise said that the Cullinan Conservancy also requested copies of the letters, but “they won’t give it to us; they don’t like us. We have also requested to know who has been appointed as the environmental control officer,” she said.

The Donkerhoek villa was built by a member of Paul Kruger’s ‘Volksraad’, JMA (Donkie) Wolmarans. He bought a section of the original Donkerhoek farm in 1882. Many parts of this villa, such as the woodwork, windows, floors, doors and fireplaces were imported from England in the 1800’s and was shipped from Europe and then transported to Pretoria with ox wagons.



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