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What ‘better lives’ on way?

I reject various statements by developer Don McGillivray, of Metrowind (“Developer says jobs and better lives on the way”, February 29). In official documentation to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), it appears only seven jobs will be created during the operation phase.

The developers have not explained to the representatives of the community how “better lives [would be] on the way”.

McGillivray reportedly said the turbines at Blue Horizon Bay would be “graceful, not intrusive”. What nonsense! In the environmental impact assessment his own experts said “the ability of the landscape to absorb any change is low and the turbine structures would be seen as being dominating”.

His expert said that of all the sites concerned, the one opposite Blue Horizon Bay would appear as “rather unsettling to the observer’s eye”.

McGillivray reportedly also said the developer would be launching “a R40-million job creation and sustainable livelihoods drive”. However, he neglects to say he had not consulted on this with representatives of Blue Horizon Bay, the area that will be directly affected. We know little about it.

He further fails to say the turbines would be 11.08km from the Progress Flight Aerodrome, whereas the Civil Aviation Authority regulations require at least 35km.

I reject his assertion that sound and distance issues fall within the legal limits. McGillivray fails to mention the granting of the environmental authorisations by the minister of environmental affairs is still under appeal and the municipality has not yet decided whether to allow special use consent for the use of agricultural land for erecting industrial wind turbines.

McGillivray further fails to say the developers do not have the right of way to the property except in emergencies. They cannot bring their equipment onto the site, because the site does not have its own entrance from the Van Stadens road.

It angers the community to read McGillivray’s unsubstantiated statements, because they know the facts. They strongly believe the developers have trampled upon their constitutional rights. They will not allow the developers to get away with it.

Henk Botha, Blue Horizon Bay