The approval of government’s proposed Maun Eco Tourism Park (METP) by the North West District Council has made imminent the relocations and possible displacement of some estimated 300 residents and their cattle further outside the Buffalo Fence. During its 17th-21st March 2014 full sitting NWDC approved the METP, a project rejected by residents of all the nine villages to be affected by the development.
While NWDC has instructed government to find serviced land for those to be relocated during consultations with residents of the nine villages last year, residents were opposed to relocation and suggested co-existence with tourism. The villages likely to be affected are Daunara, Ditshiping, Shorobe, Matapana, Matsaudi, Quxao, Morutsha, Boro and Maun.
NWDC Vice Chairperson Duncan Enga confirmed council’s approval but insisted that it was being misconstrued. “It’s a conditional approval provided that all the laid out requirements are met,” he said. Such requirements he pointed out, included availing serviced land. “We suggested that they look into whether the quarantine ranches belonging to the Department of Veterinary Services in Shorobe could be given to those who will be relocated,” he said.
“I’m at a loss how that could be a solution,” Kgosi Molatedi Dingalo of Shorobe told The Gazette. “Even before the [proposed eco-tourism] park we approached government to consider availing that land for our cattle. How can you fit people with their cattle and provide grazing land from that quarantine? The water is also saline. ” he said. “We’ve made it clear we don’t want relocation and council has not given us feedback on the [METP] approval,” he added.
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