The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has advised the City of Cape Town against approving any development applications within a 16 km radius of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station up until July 2016.
Any development that could increase the population and, as a result, extend the emergency evacuation time in case of a disaster will therefore be highly unlikely for the time being.
Development in Melkbosstrand, parts of Bloubergstrand, all the way to Parklands, West Beach and a large part of Atlantis will be put on hold until the NNR has approved a new Traffic Evacuation Model (TEM).
The NNR has supported the 2012 TEM, but to date not approved it.
Frustrated developers are sitting with their hands in their hair, because virtually every application sent to council for approval has been objected to by Disaster Risk Management, which enforces the stance of the NNR.
The R140 billion Wescape mixed-use development along the N7 which would include housing for about 800 000 people has been put on hold and the Rivergate development near Sandown Road Link received plenty of opposition from Disaster Risk Management since the get-go.
The former falls in the 16 km “red zone” radius of the power plant and the latter lies on the very edge of it.
Rivergate is also a mixed land use development, with a commercial strip on either side of Sandown Road, a business and light industrial area to the north of the commercial strip, and a more affordable residential area south of the commercial strip extending down to the Diep River.
The marketing director of the ASKA Property Group behind the Rivergate development, Tony Clarke, is curious why it is taking the NNR so long to approve the TEM.
“Once there were questions by the NNR whether the area could be evacuated within 16 hours a few years ago, the city was approached by a consultant engineering firm to show that the area could in fact be evacuated in time.
The city had no funds to do that, so ASKA and Milnerton Estates approached the city and said we will fund the study, provided that the City remains the client. That traffic engineering company found that you can evacuate the area well within the period without the introduction of Sandown Road Link.”
This report was verified by an independent study.
Clarke adds that he has no doubt that the area could be evacuated in time, but regardless of this statement, he says that for authorities to block development on the fringes of the red zone is pointless, since one can walk from Parklands to the boundary of the red zone in 30 minutes, never mind 16 hours.
“One cannot quantify the costs as a result of all the application objections and delays,” he says.
Last year the Koeberg Public Safety Information Forum said it would be possible to evacuate the five km zone within four hours and the 16 km zone within 16 hours as stipulated, but this did not take into account the proposed Wescape development.
The city now has until 31 January to submits its action plan with details of mass care centres and evacuation measures to the nuclear regulator.
The NNR recently submitted a report to the City Council in which it advised the city to exercise caution when approving plans that will increase the number of visitors moving through the red zone. It should apparently limit approvals for projects that include retirement homes, schools and accommodation for the disabled. Any developments that would increase the population by 10 % in the north-east of the 5 to 16 km zone should also be discouraged.


One month after the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) advised the City of Cape Town against approving any development applications near Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, the provincial government paved the way for the development of the controversial Wescape “mini-city”.
The provincial planning MEC Anton Bredell, has recently given the nod to change the city’s “defined urban edge”.
As a result, the city’s biggest urban development project to date could now potentially be built between Melkbosstrand and Atlantis.
According to communiTgrow (a joint venture between five companies) they have applied for the expansion of the boundary of Cape Town by amending the city’s Spatial Development Framework.
Now that Bredell has given the green light, communiTgrow will have to go through various other applications, such as environmental impact assessments, rezoning and subdivision of the land.
Nothing is imminent – developing Wescape might only start in three years’ time, according to communiTgrow.
TygerBurger reported in December in the article entitled “No development allowed: 16 km radius” that the NNR has advised the city against approving any development applications within a 16 km radius of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station up until July 2016.
This is due to the emergency evacuation time in case of a disaster
That means it is highly unlikely that the city will approve a project in this period that is eventually expected to increase the population by 800 000.
Once the exit routes from the power station have been improved, the city could conceivably approve the controversial Wescape development.
One unemployed woman who lives in Atlantis and wishes to remain anonymous says the people of Atlantis have never been approached for feedback regarding the project that will ultimately affect their lives the most.
The lack of employment in the vicinity is one of her major qualms.
“Utter madness,” she exclaims.
Her sentiments are echoed by various companies and residents along the West Coast.
If public opinion is anything to go by, Wescape will have to contend with plenty of opposition before it finally comes to fruition.
The 3 100-hectare proposal will be the first mega-housing development in the city since Mitchells Plain was established in the early 1970s.
The plan is to have it situated between the N7 and Atlantis to the north-east of Melkbosstrand.
The R140 billion project involves 200 000 houses, 415 schools, 370 public service facilities and 15 sports complexes built over the next two decades.
It will mainly be focused on lower income groups.
The population of the area is expected to reach 800 000 by 2036.