Sand dune destroyed in Sea Park

Disastrous: A view of the bulldozed dune along Ocean View Road in Sea Park.

THE excavation of a sand dune on Ocean View Road in Sea Park has sparked outrage and has been described by many as a ‘disaster’.

What has further shocked community role players, John Irven and Paddy Norman, is the blatant disregard for the law shown by the owner of a holiday home, who apparently carried out the illegal act of destroying a protected sand dune, home to an indigenous forest situated in the Admiralty Reserve.

Disgusted: Calling for this never to happen again to beach dunes along the Hibiscus Coast is John Irven (left) and Paddy Norman.

Disgusted: Calling for this never to happen again to beach dunes along the Hibiscus Coast is John Irven (left) and Paddy Norman.

Mr Irven, who is chairman of the CSO Street Community Orientated Policing (Cop), was on patrol one evening when he stumbled across a truck and an excavator ploughing through the dune.

Mr Norman, chairman of the Southern KwaZulu-Natal branch of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (Wessa), met with the person and warned him that it was illegal.

“I asked him to stop removing vegetation before he started the excavation.”

Mr Irven, together with surrounding neighbours, also had a word with him and asked him to stop. “He basically ignored everyone, stopped his ‘operation’ during the day and continued at night with an excavator and a truck,” added Mr Irven.

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Mr Norman then reported him to a number of departments, including the Green Scorpions. Officials from the department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) visited the site and issued a pre-notice, together with the authorities of the Department: Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) who issued a preliminary notice.

However it is believed that no charges have officially been laid.

Mr Norman said the man could be charged under many environmental acts such as the Forestry Act, Integrated Coastal Management Act and the Biodiversity Act.

Interestingly, the Integrated Coastal Management Act was amended in 2014 stipulating that a person can face up to five years or R5-million if found guilty.

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“I am disgusted. It is worrying that people do this sort of damage, knowing it is against the law,” said Mr Norman.

Mr Irven reiterated that it was utterly disgusting! “We have to stop people from doing this, before it spreads and others start to clear sensitive dunes for a sea view. We are the custodians, who have the responsibility to protect our environment for future generations”

Many attempts to try and contact officials from Edtea for comment proved fruitless.

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Shona Aylward
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