Plan to uproot 100 000 trees in Limpopo ‘sacrilege’, says baobab expert

Sheree Bega 20 Mar 2021 Plans to uproot more than 109 000 trees at the construction site for the government’s proposed Musina-Makhado special economic zone, including thousands of protected mopane, marula and baobab trees, don’t sit well with Isaac Sekwama. “These trees are woven into our culture and are sacred to us,” says Sekwama, who lives in the Tshikuwi village in … Read More

State pushes ahead with its toxic zone

State Goes Ahead Toxic Zone

The flawed public participation process of the proposed mega-toxic Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) left people in the dark about its negative livelihoods and environmental risks.

Development Dilemmas of South Africa’s Special Economic Zone Industrialisation policy- the Case of Musina-Makhado Energy Metallurgical Special Economic Zone and its potential socio-economic impact.

The immediate objective of this policy paper is to critically analyse the lack of sustainable development public policy thinking to South Africa’s largest development mega-project of the Covid era: the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ). Fieldwork undertaken in 2019 and 2020 has established that local municipalities and communities in Musina-Makhado have little, if any, knowledge of the SEZ.

Muddying the waters in the Musina Makhado economic zone

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is touted by the
government to be the new “regional economic epicentre” much like other mega-projects in the Global South.

Many of these projects drain the fiscus with heavy infrastructural requirements, heighten
foreign extraction of resources and raise carbon pollution levels. Multinational companies, endorsed
by governments for the fiscal kickbacks, commit to alleviate people’s poverty where the primary goal is to shift their
need for Africa’s rich mineral resources and to offset their national carbon footprint.

Explaining Carbon Sequestration and the EIA’s Stupid Science

Carbon sequestration is a naturally occurring process whereby carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. Trees play
an important role in this process since they take in carbon dioxide and use it during photosynthesis to produce
nutrients.

The Sham of the Public Participation Process on the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) 14-19 September 2020

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) echoes the promises made by
government backed mega projects in the Global South. Multinational companies, endorsed by governments for the fiscal
kickbacks, commit to alleviate people’s poverty where the primary goal is to shift their need for Africa’s rich mineral
resources and to offset their national carbon footprint. The Musina Makhado SEZ, or MMSEZ as it is now called by
government, is a perfect case in point. The SEZ will be the first in South Africa to be operated by a foreign (Chinese)
company, Hoi Mor Shenzhen.

Killing the Holy Ghost: Limpopo’s Musina-Makhado SEZ – A not-so-go zone?

By Brandon Abdinor The draft environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the controversial proposed Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone was released on 1 September, and public participation meetings started in Limpopo and Tshwane in the week of 14 September 2020. Input from community members and other interested parties saw powerful questions and concerns being added to the sensible and potentially prohibitive … Read More

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCESS

EIA PHASE FOR THE APPLICATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION AND CHANGE OF LAND USE FOR THE PROPOSED MUSINA-MAKHADO SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (SEZ), LIMPOPO PROVINCE The Limpopo Economic Development Agency proposes to establish a Special Economic Zone with Metallurgical Cluster between Musina and Makhado, therefore, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has thus been undertaken according to the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 … Read More

Post-Covid Development Dilemmas: Reconciling Sustainable Development, South Africa’s Spiralling Debt, and Big Hopes for Special Economic Zones ( Part 2)

Reviewing the state of the economy as the country eases out of lockdown reveals the urgency of public debate on
government’s development policies and levels of accountability in its sustainable development strategies.

Starting with the ongoing evils of Eskom, load-shedding in August. News of the SOE’s deepening structural weaknesses,
including aging infrastructure, poor maintenance and unsustainable level of debt, is no laughing matter, especially when
government starts mentioning using state pension funds to disappear the problem.

To make matters more painful for the South African taxpayer, is how much of the money Eskom has borrowed over the last
decade has been inappropriately managed. The World Bank’s 2010 loan of US 3.05 billion for what was advertised to be the
largest coal fired power station in the world, Medupi, could be regarded as odious debt.

Medupi is still incomplete 10 years later, and the state of its infrastructure and maintenance is appalling, as Eskom’s
Operating manager Jan Oberholzer, self-confesses.