Still hope at the end of the line

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Thank you for the splendid centrespread for Alicedale in this week’s Grocott’s Mail. We hope this will serve to galvanize Makana Municipality and provincial government to attend the travesty of continued and rampant neglect of infrastructure, which devastates communities not only here in Alicedale but throughout this municipality serving Grahamstown and surrounding rural areas, and thus so many of the poorest of the poor.

As you have shown, and despite Letters of Non Conformance from the Department of Water Affairs served on 9 January 2019, giving the Municipality 48 hours to rectify, the sewage runs unabated, and we would ask what are the consequence of this blatant disregard – hopefully the arrest of the person/s responsible, for cholera is high on the list of possibilities if this is not curtailed and treated.  The pollution of the Bushmans River in Alicedale (where members of our community swim and fish), and the impact downriver, is unforgiveable.

As a community we hope for better things. A serious stranglehold persists, thus preventing  investment which would bring this hidden gem that is Alicedale back into the light, offering opportunities and upliftment, not only to its residents, but to others. As your piece advises, Alicedale’s future was reportedly determined by a ‘bet’ over dinner;  subsequently, and currently, a financial wrangle  to the tune of many millions between the original developers – East Cape Development Corporation and Bushman Sands Development – creates a barrier to the investment needed. This travesty is well documented, with outcomes of High Court judgements found on the internet, but all efforts to contact either of these parties in order to obtain clarification as to when this matter will be settled, fail. But we will not give up…. for the benefit of all, answers have to be given and urgent settlement agreed.

However, despite these challenges, we can confirm that the 18-hole Gary Player Golf course is very much open for business, nurtured by our wonderful greenkeeper Johan under these difficult drought conditions, the road from N2 to Alicedale somewhat improved with recent efforts at grading, the peace and quiet, wonderful bird life, bright night skies and the opportunity to escape from the madding crowd, is here and waiting.

Eli Konstant and John Bateson

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