Stop Knysna Municipality plan to use a sensitive lagoon front property for a Taxi Holding

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The purpose of this petition is to stop the Knysna Municipality from using an extremely environmentally sensitive area, directly next to the Boardwalk of the Knysna Estuary, 10 Auction Mart Avenue, between erf 3421 and the lagoon as a temporary Taxi Holding area for 60 + taxis. The lagoon side of the Boardwalk is a Nature Conservancy, part of San Parks and a very popular tourist attraction.

Any vehicle traffic will severely impact this extremely sensitive area, home to our local birdlife which is in breeding season. A Taxi Holding will affect business in the area negatively as well as tourists and locals using the Waterfront Boardwalk.

A Taxi Holding will completely contradict the plight made by residents over many years to protect and conserve this small patch of grass area for birdlife. (Yellow Billed Duck, African Oyster Catchers, Spotted Thick Knee, Crowned Lapwing, Black Smith Lapwing, Egyptian Geese, Sacred Ibis to name but a few)

The Municipality has already started the process, ignoring the advice and recommendations from various prominent conservancy bodies, residents, local businesses and many more.  There has not been any official invitation for public participation, making this an unlawful exercise.

Why this is not a suitable solution for a temporary taxi holding area:

  • One of the most prominent landscape features in the Greater Knysna area is the Knysna Estuary, or lagoon as commonly referred to. Other than being a major tourist attraction for leisure activities, it also boasts considerable conservation importance with it ranking 3rd of South Africa’s estuaries in terms of botanical importance, 8th in terms of importance for conserving fish, 19th in terms of water and bird conservation, and first in terms of overall conservation importance which includes criteria such as size, diversity of habitat, zonal rarity and biodiversity (https://www.knysna.gov.za/live-here/environment/lagoon-update/
  • With high tide, sea water often rises to 20 - 30m into Auction Mart Avenue leaving a large area of saltwater which the vehicles must drive through to reach the grass area allocated as the temporary taxi holding area.
  • Any spillage from fuel or oil will certainly end up in the Knysna lagoon.
  • The Municipality’s plans for temporary toilets will escalate the ongoing problem regarding vandalism, drug trafficking and littering by the informal residents (bergies) in the area next to Waste by Rail.
  • The birdlife breeding season is in full swing and this small grass area is home to an ever-increasing bird population – currently with chicks. To disturb their home even for a few weeks will certainly have a catastrophic impact.
  • The boardwalk is a prominent feature on the waterfront frequently used by many locals, amateur and professional athletes, tourists as well as the venue for Knysna’s official Park Runs.  A Taxi Holding Area will blemish a near perfect area and view.
  • Every business in this area will be negatively affected by the resulting congestion of the additional ± 60 x vehicles moving in and out several times per day.

We urgently need your support as time is of great importance, the Municipality has already started the process of marking out parking bays etc, without public participation or consultation.

Please give your support by signing this petition and raise awareness by telling your friends.