An exploratory study of the EIA process involved in a low cost housing project in the Western Cape

Nell, Guillaume (2015-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study undertakes a broad exploration of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process in South Africa through a case study analysis of the N2 Gateway Project, a low cost housing project of the new housing policy, Breaking New Ground (BNG). This study of the housing situation in South Africa is done to provide some context on informal settlements and shows why this is a significant social issue in post-apartheid South Africa. The main housing policies are discussed in order to indicate how the South African government attempts to address the housing challenges in the country, and more specifically, in the Western Cape. The overview is useful in gaining perspective about the nature of this process, including reasons why EIAs take such a long time to complete and how the effectiveness of these are determined. The key challenges and benefits of EIAs are discussed together with an analysis of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) tool. The case study analysis reveals how the EIA was not conducted in a proper way during the planning and implementation phases of the project. Together with this, various other significant matters of the project are highlighted because of the controversial nature of this project. The study reveals that it is not necessarily EIAs that are the cause of delays in the implementation of low cost housing projects, but that poor planning, fast tracking of the EIA process and completing the EIA too late in the planning procedure of the project are the main contributing factors causing the delays. The recommendations given are based on these findings, which indicate that the environmental authorization processes ought to be incorporated at a much earlier stage in the pipeline of the planning procedure, as well as transparent and more clearly defined roles should be established from the start. Better project management is also required and participation and communication between all the stakeholders involved should be given due attention. The study argues that the use of SEA can be very helpful and should be used to ensure that the proper planning mechanisms are in place.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die navorsing stel deur ʼn gevallestudie ondersoek in na die Omgewingsimpakassessering (OIA) van „n lae-koste behuising projek bekend as die N2 Gateway Projek in die Wes-Kaap provinsie, as deel van die regering se behuisingsbeleid bekend as Breaking New Ground. (BNG). Hierdie studie oor die omstandighede van die behuisingsituasie in Suid-Afrika is gdoen om konteks te gee oor informe nedersettings en te wys waarom dit ʼn belangrike onderwerp in post-apartheid Suid-Afrika is. Die belangrikste beleidstukke oor behuising word bespreek om te wys hoedat die Suid-Afrikaans regering die behuisingsuitdagings in die land aanspreek, mer spesifiek in die Wes-Kaap. Hierdie oorsig is waardevol om perspektief oor die aard van die proses te gee, wat onder andere die redes insluit waarom OIAs so ʼn lang tyd neem om te voltooi en om ook te wys hoe die effektiwiteit van laasgenoemde bepaal word. Die kern uitdagings en voordele van OIAs word bespreek sowel as ʼn analise van die wat bekend staan as strategiese omgewings assessering (SOA) instrument. Die analise van die gevallestudie wys hoedat die OIAs nie op die gepasde wyse gedurende die beplannings- en implementerings fases van die projek gedoen is nie. Hiermee saam is verskeie ander betekenisvolle faktore van die projek uitgelig as gevolg van die kontroversiële aard van die projek. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat dit nie noodwendig die OIAs is wat die vertraging in die implementering van dié lae koste behuisingsprojek tot gevolg gehad het nie. Die belangrikste faktore wat tot daartoe bygedra het, kan eerder aan swak beplanning, die versnelling van die OIA proses en die voltooiing van die OIA eers teen die einde van die projek toegeskryf word. Die aanbevelings wat gemaak word geskied teen dié agtergrond. Dit behels onder andere dat die OIA-proses vir die goedkeuring van die projek veel vroeër in die beplannings proses gedoen moes word. Te same hiermee moes daar baie duideliker aanwysings gewees het oor wie verantwoordelikheid vir uitvoering van spesifieke take moes ontvang. Beter kommunikasie en deelname van die verskillende partye wat by die projek betrokke was, is verder ʼn voorvereiste wanneer soortgelyke projekte aangepak gaan word. Die gebruik van die SOA instrument is ook belangrik en behoort in projekte soos die N2 Gateway gebruik te word sodat daar beter beplanning gedoen kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97153
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