The MPA has been a watchdog against abuse and malpractice in the Magaliesberg since its inception in 1974. Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA) has decided to seek a judicial review of a decision by the MEC of the North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, Mr Boitumelo Tshwene.
The MPA had appealed the MEC's earlier decision to allow "rectification of an illegal development", only to have the appeal dismissed.
The developer, Mr Jan Ntemane has constructed an upmarket hotel of about 50 rooms inside the Protected Environment of the Magaliesberg. In July 2008 the MPA queried the development, and communication from the NWDACE stated that they had only recently become aware of this illegal development and that they were in the process of
prosecuting the developer.
A statement by the MPA stresses that the Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for the Magaliesberg classifies the area where the Kgaswane Country Lodge is situated as “highly sensitive”, and designates hotels, lodges and conference centres as “incompatible activities” in such an area.
The EMF is a policy document prepared by the MEC's Department, and sets out the development guidelines for the formally protected core of the Magaliesberg.
The decision to proceed to judicial review was taken in light of "the risks that the Department’s granting of environmental authorisation to the Kgaswane Country Lodge poses to the integrity of the Magaliesberg Protected Environment".
Editor's Note: The judgement went in favour of the State.