N2 'Wild Coast' Toll Road 'Greenfields' Extension
Sikhosiphi Bazooka Radebe. Chair. Amadiba Crisis Committee.
"We need to know how a Toll road develops people. Where in the world has a toll road ever developed people?" Queen Masobhuza Sigcau. AmaMpondo Queen.
In 2001 a consortium of engineering companies put in an unsolicited bid to build a tolled extension to the N2. The route of the extension would run along the undeveloped Wild Coast coastal belt between Port Edward and Lusikisiki, ironically right next to the proposed mining areas.
Supporters of the road said it would open the area up for much needed development. Affected local communities felt the EIA process side-lined their needs and concerns, and that the proposed route was linked to the mining proposal, which they vociferously opposed.
In 2004 the initial Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was overturned due to a lack of independence between the EIA consultants and the bidding consortium. The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) subsequently commissioned a new EIA that incorporated much of the data of the old EIA. This EIA was subsequently approved by the Department of Environment, despite numerous public objections.
Local Wild Coast residents then took the matter to court, arguing that the public participation process was deeply flawed. This ongoing case has been marked by attempts to undermine local opposition to the road by authorities, including an apparent attempt by SANRAL employees in 2014 to forge affidavits to show local support for the road.